Another Ugly Neon: Motor Install Complete, Finishing Soon

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Doug95Neon
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Another Ugly Neon: Motor Install Complete, Finishing Soon

Post by Doug95Neon » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:04 pm

Image

Image

Image
Battery Relocation Kit with 100 amp circuit breaker on Battery's left.

Image
Autocross, because we're Cirrus Binness.

Image
Stock struts are bad MMMMkkay?

Image
Nice clean engine bay, no dumb multi-colored wire loom to confuse the eye holes.

Image
2g manifold, SRT-4 Cat-Back

Image
Tucked nicely in place.

Mod List:
Going in through the poor man's cold air intake.
Controlled air flow by 57mm throttle body. (corrected)
Port-matched intake on the cylinder head says "Welcome!"
Three Angle Valve job says hurry up and get in while the Crane Springs and Titanium retainers keep tight control over the revolving door of aspiration.
The Crane Cam says bring more of your friends and stay a while longer.
AEM Cam gear allows some discretion as to when they come and go.
The milled head helps to keep the crowd tightly packed in.
Port-matched exhaust ports in the head say "It's time to go, don't linger."

Easing the exit of this fine establishment you'll find a 2g neon exhaust manifold mating up to the still-green-friendly SRT-4 Catalytic converter.
Past that it's a smooth ride through the rest of the factory SRT-4 Exhaust.
Keeping the oil from becoming a Frothy Brew is a mopar Windage tray.

Adequate spark is insured both Mopar performance wires getting shocked by a screamin' Demon Coil.

All this would be pointless with a stock computer so I tried on the Mopar Performance SOHC computer... I think I'll keep it :)

Keeping the ride planted:
Mopar High Rate springs help to lower the center of gravity and get rid of some squishy. KYB GR-2s.... well... I should have left them in the warehouse and gotten the Konis or AGXs. Oh well... I've got to have SOMETHING to do this winter right?
Poly-Urethane bushings help some with the squish
Making sure that the turns can be taken faster you'll find a nicely bent Mopar Performance 22mm sway bars front AND rear.
Helping that frame to stay in shape we've got a set of [email protected]$$ front and rear strut tower braces.
On the bit unusual side you'll find a rear trailer hitch. Actually ties up the rear nicely like a lower tie-bar of sorts.

Directly above the rear exhaust section you'll find an Optima Red Top in the Boot. Keeping the factory installed smoke in place, the 100 amp circuit breaker right at the battery is a nice safety feature.

Of course... if you've got a slipping clutch none of this matters so let's keep that from happening with a Mopar Performance Clutch. And you might be able to keep that axle from breaking for a third time with a nice yellow-booted Fidanza axle. Of course... if I had the urethane motor mount inserts in BEFORE I went to the drag strip then I wouldn't know how 2 $100.00 tow bills felt. So... the lesson? Don't go to the drag strip and get used to the teeth chattering from the inserts.

For the autocross you'll find some 15x7 KMC wheels transferring all this MAD POWA... cough cough... to the ground by way of some 225/50ZR15 Kumho Victoracers. Never mind the rubbing, MORE GAS!!!

Attitude of these wheels are kept in check with the help of some "crash bolts" allowing camber adjustment. Meanwhile, the car gets pointed where I tell it thanks to the faster 16:1 ACR steering rack.

Well, that's it. I've got a few things on the short term wish list like Depos (which should I get? Also will be getting a short throw and booger bushings. An AFC would probably be in the mix as well.

Long Term plans will be Koni's and a bottom end Rebuild with 10.5+ compression components. That would probably do it for this ride. I'll enjoy it, hopefully, for another three or four years and then find a new car to beat on.
Doug
Raleigh, NC
Last edited by Doug95Neon on Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:37 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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NickHimself
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Post by NickHimself » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:59 am

can you say "I should right for an auto magazine"?

serisouly dude that was bad peanut
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Post by sharkmonkey » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:05 am

Hey Doug,
I have that same shirt. I'm sure you get the same reactions I do. :D

Nice build on the Neon.

-mark
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Post by Trev_Masta » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:38 am

very nice.

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Post by Markymark » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:51 am

how do those 225's work out for autocrossing? Obviously the bigger footprint will help but that seems like it would rub every time you turned the wheel for any corner.
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BlackRT?
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Post by BlackRT? » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:33 pm

why do you have a smaller tb??
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Post by BlueNeonRt » Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:14 pm

The small TB is for AutoX....I love the plates dude! fricken KILLER!!!
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Doug95Neon
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Post by Doug95Neon » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:10 pm

BlackRT? wrote:why do you have a smaller tb??
Probably because I'm a tard and forgot it's a stocker bored to 57mm and not 37mm.

The tires do rub during parking lot maneuvers and extremely tight turns on course but fortunately there aren't TONS of hairpins everywhere. I will probably go down a little with the next set of tires. Ultimately I'd like to have 8-9 matching wheels. 4 race tires and 4 street all of which are the same dimensions if it's not too stupid-wide for street use. A spare wheel is never a bad idea.
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Post by superD » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:44 pm

that thing must be loud.
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Post by Doug95Neon » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:41 pm

superD wrote:that thing must be loud.
:) Daddy Likes :)

It is but because of the head work it doesn't sound like a honda and I get a number of compliments from a number of people who I'd have thought objected.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=c36F-kdGz64
Audio

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CQ88mSBm7Nc
http://youtube.com/watch?v=iwl-vEVcjS0
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Post by jonnie256 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:49 am

nice sleeper dude!
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Post by ILLJIM69 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:27 pm

paint the bumpers...........

otherwise NICE build man, very nice.

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Post by wickedgoodneon » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:33 pm

That thing its LOUD, But it sounds sweet!
Last edited by wickedgoodneon on Wed May 14, 2014 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Burks21 wrote:Because most SRT owners now are broke teens or idiots looking to slam their car the cheapest way possible. So they buy crap off eBay, racelands, etc.
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Post by Doug95Neon » Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:54 pm

wickedgoodneon wrote:That think its LOUD, But it sounds sweet!
I see the English language is still your nemesis. :lol:
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Post by braindamage » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:09 am

wow i really like the sleeper effect it puts out. i wasnt sure til i watched the vid, very ------ nice.

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Post by wickedgoodneon » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:10 am

Doug95Neon wrote:
wickedgoodneon wrote:That think its LOUD, But it sounds sweet!
I see the English language is still your nemesis. :lol:
for sure, haha
Burks21 wrote:Because most SRT owners now are broke teens or idiots looking to slam their car the cheapest way possible. So they buy crap off eBay, racelands, etc.
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95South

Post by 95South » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:30 pm

nice, it sounds good overall, a lil raspy but i like.

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Post by Doug95Neon » Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:44 pm

Thanks for the compliments folks. Here's a few more pics from the auto-x school today.

Image

Image

Hopefully, I should have some more pics of the car in action as they get posted up by other members of the auto-x club. Also, my dad will be at the event in the morning so I'll hopefully get some pics and vids of the car too.
Thanks
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by voidfinger » Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:31 am

hey quick question man, do you have a muffler on that srt exaust or is that the strait pipe ?
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by wickedgoodneon » Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:40 am

Srt exhaust has no mufller, so no, sounds good tho
Burks21 wrote:Because most SRT owners now are broke teens or idiots looking to slam their car the cheapest way possible. So they buy crap off eBay, racelands, etc.
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by Treva Trev » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:55 pm

All neons are beautiful :yes:
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by voidfinger » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:38 am

wickedgoodneon wrote:Srt exhaust has no mufller, so no, sounds good tho
I know, but most people i've talked to put a muffler on the back section when they weilded it up. I'm trying to figure out what i want to do ... leave it strait or do the muffler.
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by UnknownCoatings » Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:02 pm

what wheels?
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Doug95Neon
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by Doug95Neon » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:36 pm

So... I spent a number of hours working on the car today with the help of Mark of Performance Chassis here in Cary, NC as well as my buddy Mike, a fellow neon enthusiast (WickedGoodNeon). I started around lunch time and well, I'm tired and wore out. I'm a little behind schedule as I was hoping to have all the parts on the car and it at least sitting on the ground ready to be moved to the alignment rack. Instead we were able to get all the coil-overs hung and all of the rear suspension is in place ready to be lowered and torqued. Mike was able to get the front struts hung while I worked on the total PITA task referred to as front control arm bushing removal/modifying/installation.

So here's the car as the day began. Mopar High rate springs which lowered the car about 1.5 inches all around whose movement was slowed by some KYB GR2's. Good street struts but not much above stock replacement when it comes to performance. The car:
Image
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Nicely lowered, acceptable ride quality but could be a bit smoother as far as the struts and springs. However, my big gripe right now is horrible torque steer from moderate throttle input to decel as well as quirkiness when taking turns spirited. By quirky I mean it has a certain speed, throttle input, degree of turning you can take and feel fine. But beyond that sweet spot it feels unstable and honestly unpredictable. As you read on you'll see why I think.

The car has an independent rear suspension. Two lateral links run from the center of the rear frame down to each knuckle. There is a third arm that runs from the bottom of the knuckle to the chassis (fore and aft) which is referred to a tension strut (or something like that, I'll edit this once I bring my books home). Each link has two bushings and at each end there's a really long bolt that goes through the links and the knuckle OR the links and the chassis subframe. The tension strut has a bushing on each side of the knuckle and on each side of a subframe bracket, shown below:
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These long bolts tend to be problematic for those doing alignments or upgrades. They rust on the ends with the threads making it difficult to remove for bushing/link service but also the shaft of the bolt rusts which causes it not to want to spin in order to loosen for alignment. On the hex shaped washer, only found on the inner bolts, rear subframe side, there is a tab. This tab is used to shift the lateral link inward or outward as it rotates. What this does is cause the toe setting to change depending on where you leave the tab. When this bolt is rusted up spinning can not only be difficult but unpredictable and rough making it difficult to make minute adjustments smoothly. If you take the bolt to the bench grinder with a wire wheel clean off the rust from the threads and the shaft. A small amount of anti-seize smeared on the threads and shaft can help keep things moving. A small amount on the head of the bolt and tabbed washer will ease in the alignment now and in the future.

The kit I bought is made by Energy Suspension. It's pretty nice though there was a problem or two we ran in to. One metal sleeve for these rear links was not right so we ended up having it machined down to match the rest:
Image

Use of a vise and a shop press was crucial to removing and installing the bushings and sleeves without damaging the components:
Image

The kit came with a number of flat washers. These are used at the lateral links in addition to reusing the factory ones. The proper configuration of the hardware is shown in the paperwork that comes with the kit but here's a picture of the center link hardware in place:
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The larger hex nut acts as a washer, you have the rear bushing, the link, the front bushing, a washer and then the nut.

Here's a picture of me doing things wrong:
Image
I failed to put a washer between the link and the knuckle. This will cause increased wear on the bushing as well as undesirable deflection because the washer will actually hold it in place. Attention to detail will make a big difference as I will show you how I messed up a few years ago with some front suspension urethane bushing installs gone wrong. Also, take a look at the egg shaped hole made by the tension strut rod at the knuckle. The hole on the opposite side is still nearly perfectly round while the rear side is shot. This would lead me to believe that the knuckle actually had caster changes happening on the fly. Meaning, the top of the knuckle was moving clockwise and counterclockwise as viewed from the side of the car. New bushings are perfectly round and should keep my alignment in check both sitting still as well as on course.

The new struts fit real well though the hats can only go in one way. There are four studs on the hat and two of them are off-centered.
Image
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If you'll notice I am reusing the stock nuts w/washers for the struts. The reason being is that the ones that came with the BC Coil-Overs have little to no collar on them. The larger collar means that more of the load is spread out preventing the stud and nut from sheering off.

The stock struts and Mopar High Rates have served me well but if I'm going to be more competitive in the Street Modified class then I've got to maximize the car's potential as well as my options for mods:
Image


So that's pretty much the extent of the work for the rear of the car. The assembly process was rather smooth with the help of air tools, a two post lift and help from Mark and Mike. Thanks for putting up with me.
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On to the Front Suspension

Post by Doug95Neon » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:37 pm

On to the front suspension work. It was a total douche to deal with once you get the parts off the car. I spent the vast majority of the afternoon grinding away on my lower control arms because of the particular kit that I chose to use. Note to those running in specific SCCA style classes, modifications like what I'm doing to this control arm can be considered illegal in some classes. So the bushing upgrade may not change your class but the arm modification might bump you up.

So... as you can see by the date stamps on many of these posts I've been working on this project for a number of years. In that time I've gotten better and more educated (looking back I was pretty stupid then). In my infinite stupidity I didn't know all the details of the front control arm bushing installation process that were required and as an end result my car now rides like peanut. What am I talking about?? Well, urethane bushings shouldn't look like this:
Image
Or this:
Image
Or this:
Image

Why not? 'Cause you're supposed to measure:
Image
And Grind:
Image
And Grind:
Image
And Grind:
Image
In the above picture you can just barely see where the rust ends and the sleeve was recessed in the arm preventing rust. There is ONE bushing that goes with this particular arm and ONLY in this particular position. It looks just like the other three bushings but it has a groove cut in it to accept that sleeve. You have to press that sleeve out of the way, grind on it and then press the sleeve back in.

Here's that special bushing:
Image

And Grind some more:
Image
In that picture above I'm comparing the stock arm from one side to the opposite side which I've already done some grinding on. All in all I had to grind the control arm anywhere from 4 to 8 millimeters depending on which portion I was working on.

This grinding is crucial for this bushing kit because it makes the arm the right thickness to match the bushing going in those wholes. If you look at the instructions they will basically tell you that the arms have to be within a certain range of thickness as shown in the picture with me measuring the arm. The measurement needs to be split in half and you grind evenly from both sides of the arm for the part that goes in to the subframe at the rear (the curved section). The straight part of the arm you only have to grind on one side. But you have to get your measurements on the money or else you'll cut off to much and have to get another control arm and start over again.

Properly installed bushings will look like this:
Image
Image
Image
Image

So in the morning I've got to grind the other arm down and install the bushings. THEN... I can get back to the fun part of actually installing parts on the car as well as doing the corner weighting w/ride height adjustment and finally the alignment. Wish me luck.
Doug
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by wickedgoodneon » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:31 am

I will add. From the discussion with Mark, the shop owner, he noted that the grinding was necessary so that the bushing seated properly in the arm, but also seated properly when attached to the sub frame. The sleave he said should be whats touching the sub frame on each and that the sleave should be flush with the bushing. If the sleave is not flush with the bushing the bushing will be squished and will casue deflection like the before pictures that doug has shown. From my own personal reading the energy suspension bushing require grinding and the prothanes do not. I have not seen the prothanes but we assumed that you should or most likely would want to grind the vertical and horizontal portions of the arm like doug did so that the bushings seat correctly.
Burks21 wrote:Because most SRT owners now are broke teens or idiots looking to slam their car the cheapest way possible. So they buy crap off eBay, racelands, etc.
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by Doug95Neon » Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:50 pm

Yeah... so you know how there's some modifications you've done at home where you lack many of the tools and shop equipment needed to to speed things up and make life easy? Do you remember that feeling you had when the whole thing was said and done but you were so wiped out that you felt like calling in dead on Monday? Only imagine being that guy who DID have all the right tools and the lifts, and the helpers, and air tools and STILL feeling beat down like Nancy Kerrigan. That... was me.

The modifications to the suspension went smoother on Sunday than the day before. I knew the task at hand and brought a few extra things from home to accomplish those steps. I got a little grinder happy but not by much so hopefully things will work out on the RF lower control arm.

The reason why we grind the control arms with this particular kit is because of the gap here:
Image
If you don't grind what you end up with is this:
Image
The metal sleeve does not contact the subframe as it needs to like this:
Image
And you end up tightening the bolt/nut and crushing the bushing rather than stopping on the sleeve.
On the rear part of the front arm the bushing looks like this:
Image
Although you can see a little gap on the top side between the arm and the bushing where I got a little crazy grinding on it. All in all though the bushings sit nicely in there and I hope not to have egg shaped bushings in another 4 years.


In this picture below you can see that I have ground the crap out of the arm. It's just about ready to go on but installing the bushing now would create problems. Where I was grinding, excess material has rolled in to the opening. It's pretty sharp and not only will cut you but also the bushing. Take a file (round worked well) and grind that out making a slight taper to ease installation. Also, all of that rusty buildup needs to be cleaned out or else you'll not be able to get the new bushing in and have it sit right.
Image
Note: ONLY GRIND ONE OF THESE ARMS LIKE THIS. Both arms have metal sleeves in them but only one arm has a sleeve that extends outward. That takes the special bushing and special grinding process.


So with the front suspension all put back together I'm ready to go over to the alignment rack for all the technical mumbo jumbo.
Image
Image
First, let me thank Jim Leonard for helping me out a lot on Sunday with the corner weighting and moral support.

We set the car on the rack, raised it, put the corner weights under the wheels and then roll it backwards off the scales on these wooden blocks. We turn on the scales and zero them out then roll the car back on to them.

The car without my slim self weighs 2395 lbs. Add me to the mix and it goes up to 2618 ( I know, I'm going on a diet next week).
LF 824 lbs....^^^....RF 795 lbs......Front....1619 lbs
LR 529 lbs...............RR 470 lbs.....Rear.......999 lbs

So with the ride height where I wanted it the balance is pretty close side to side as well as cross. There's more weight on the front but it's front wheel drive meaning you WANT it there to keep weight on the wheels and the weight is there because of the engine and transmission.

With corner weighting done we moved on to alignment which took me WAY too long but I finally got it in the ball park to drive home on. The rear was a total nightmare because of the crappy design used for toe adjustment. As I explained in the previous posting you'll remember that there's a hex washer with a tab on it used to adjust rear toe on the lateral link. Well, it had plenty of range it was just too far out to start with to get where I wanted. Basically I wanted rear toe to be set to zero degrees. Meaning they are pointing straight ahead and not trying to steer the rear end in any direction. Normal range of motion would be say... +0.40 degrees to -0.40 degrees. Well, my range of adjustment was +1.10 to +0.30 degrees. I still had the same range it was just pushing the front of my tires in to the tension strut.
Here is one of my many attempts at getting the tie right:
Image
Mike and I spent a couple of hours installing and reinstalling the rear suspension with little success. Finally I ended up taking a pry bar that's about 4 feet long and prying the crap out of the rear knuckle (see the bolt at the knuckle, picture a pry bar in in the same manor extending to the rear of the car, now push towards the license plate) to basically pre-load the lateral links. This is a HORRIBLE thing to do because it binds things up but... you do what you have to do when you're running out of time.

So, knowing that I had the toe back in the range I needed it I set the rear camber to negative 0.5 degrees. That's not a lot of camber but I was only planning on running about negative 1.5 degrees up front so that combination had worked fine for me last year. I finally got rear toe set to 0.00 degrees and had just enough clearance between the front of the tire and the tension strut.

On to the front. Toe was not going to be an issue thanks to a recently upgraded New ACR Rack. Camber was a bit messier. The spring perches prevented too much lean on the top but I thought the camber plates would give me the extra camber I needed. So we loosened the knuckle to strut bolts and set the camber using a wrench between the tire and the strut.
Image

Rear camber on the lower end now maxed out I go up top and loosen the retaining bolts for the plate to shift. The camber at that point was positive 0.3 degrees.
Image

Hhhhhhmmm.... I'm not sitting the same distance from zero only on the negative side. Max negative camber of -0.3 degrees??? Well, if you look at the last picture really good you'll see that the inner bolt (both) are touching the collar of the strut seat. Thoroughly wore out and frustrated by previous alignment woes I left the camber there and set the toe so I could at least drive it home.

Little did I know that there was a second set of holes you could use to gain even more negative camber. When you're burned out you don't see what's right in front of you.

Stay tuned for a summary of ride quality and other things I'll be working on to get the suspension tuned to it's best.
Doug
My Project thread: Here
A/C Not Working Right? Click Here

I8yourVtec
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by I8yourVtec » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:17 pm

you need matching bumpers
2005-Flame red srt-4--Stage 2 w/ toys...many other mods
1995 Plymouth nyg acr coupe-- 1 of 63. For Sale- PM for details

WTB:RT or ACR transmission. Va,Nc or Md areas prefered.

Doug95Neon
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by Doug95Neon » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:09 am

My bumpers do match, they're both gray. :)
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wickedgoodneon
Neon Mechanic
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by wickedgoodneon » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:47 am

Doug95Neon wrote:My bumpers do match, they're both gray. :)
BAAAHAHAHAHAHA I love it. :rofl: :rofl:

Grey bumpers is what makes Dougs neon unique. Dont change a thing. Its is the neon that even neon owners hate, love it!
Burks21 wrote:Because most SRT owners now are broke teens or idiots looking to slam their car the cheapest way possible. So they buy crap off eBay, racelands, etc.
Feedback: http://forums.neons.org/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=382275

smokinp
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by smokinp » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:45 am

good work so far and I must say you have a sleeper!
98 2dr neon srt swap ( in progress )

Doug95Neon
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Alignment intermission

Post by Doug95Neon » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:01 pm

This post originally posted 3 days ago:
I thought I didn't have my hands full enough as it was so I started another project on the car before finishing the last one. For this one I REALLY have to turn back time and refresh some memories.

I bought the car for $300.00 because of numerous problems of which a no-start condition was one of them. The factory harness had melted together due to oil saturation from the head gasket leak. A new crank sensor and a quick wiring repair put the car back in the driveable condition though the headgasket was still leaking. After doing a bunch of other stuff to it over the next couple of months I developed an injector wiring issue. I again patched the harness and went on my marry way. Well, one thing led to another and I ended up needing a different injector wiring repair and decided I had patched things together one too many times and I'd just get a new harness.

As most of you know I'm pretty thorough and try to do right, the first time, so as not to have to do over later. Well... I'm doing over. In my quest for speed I upgraded to a second generation neon exhaust manifold. Longer runners, better flowing and bolts right up to the SRT-4 cat and cat-back. In my haste for speed I didn't put any heat shields back on it. After a couple of years my NEW harness now behaves like the old. The car cuts out from time to time, lights kinda flicker and well, it's all but impossible to pin point what's going on but when you see a problem you fix it.
Image


I had noticed a few weeks ago that the section of wiring on the back side of the block wasn't looking so swift. I already had a number of plans in the works and thought I could get through those before addressing the wiring. After the suspension work this week the neon became more and more difficult to keep running, stalling out at stop lights and foot-off-throttle conditions, headlights flickering and finally it popped my 100 amp circuit breaker at the battery. Enough is enough, another brand new harness came in today and the old is off the car.

Even Dakota isn't happy with my laziness:
Image

Image

Image

In the section of wiring that's partially fused together is the crank sensor circuitry, altenator circuitry including large gauge wire leading to battery +, both o2 sensors, oil pressure sending unit and the vehicle speed sensor. Basically, a lot of stuff that can directly affect keeping the car running.

I'll swap out some connectors on the new harness tomorrow (some newer sensors required a connector upgrade) and hopefully be back on the road tomorrow night.
Doug
My Project thread: Here
A/C Not Working Right? Click Here

Doug95Neon
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by Doug95Neon » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:04 pm

Post is actual time:
Well, I finally finished the Neon suspension upgrade today with some more parts, more adjustments and more kicking myself for one bad choice of suspension parts that has affected EVERY aspect of this job.

After I finished working on the car last weekend I wasn't happy with a few things. Clearance has been an issue at all for corners since I put these parts on where as prior to them I had just enough room to not be worried about it. My biggest problem has been lack of clearance at the rear tire to tension strut seen here:
Image

A dislike has been the clearance issue at the top of the front tires to the new coil over setup seen here:
Image
The front is tolerable as it simple does not given me the camber setting I want but the rear is clearly is an issue since the tension strut is contacting the tire.

To combat this issue I bought some different lateral links manufactured by SPC. The arms do away with the obnoxious toe adjuster at the middle of the rear and instead uses two turnbuckle style sleeves. Buying one set of arms will allow for rear toe adjustment. Buying two sets of arms allows for rear camber and toe adjustment from these arms and then on top of that I've got slotted and excentric adjustments at the knuckles. The arms are shown here:
Image

After getting these new lateral links on the car we went ahead and rolled the fenders because I was having clearance issues when the rear dropped down from speed bumps and such. My helper today was Fred who was really helpful and taught me a few tricks. Of which was matching up the new lateral links with the old by using the bolts and old links shown here:
Image

Fred is a smart guy and since I didn't have any experience with the the fender roller I thought it was best to get some help with the project.
Image

Rolling the fenders is not difficult at all with the right tool but you should be aware that you may cause the paint to crack. The older a car gets the less flexible the paint becomes. Throw in a car that didn't have a lot of flex agent in it from the start and you're going to get some cracking. Here's the unrolled right rear:
Image

Compared to the rolled left side:
Image
and here:
Image

The focus wasn't working with me on the last shot but you can see that it's tucked quite a bit back which gave me the clearance I needed.

With the fenders rolled, the lateral links installed and the wheels back on the car I still had some clearance issues at the tension strut so I made some less than desirable changes to one side. I slotted the bracket that holds the tension strut to the chassis:
Image
I didn't find this to be a really offensive modification but I would suggest making sure the bolts are good and tight as well as maybe tack welding the bracket in two or three places just to make sure it doesn't move (this will cause the rear toe to move outboard if it moves).

Clearance still wasn't great but it's manageable. On my street tires and wheels I have plenty of clearance but the race setup isn't so swift.

After I got things acceptable I went back and aligned the car. Wow... what a difference these new rear lateral links make in the adjustability of camber and toe. It's so nice for camber to be a one man job now and pulling and pushing on the top of the tire is no longer needed. The parts move freely and easily making adjustment pretty short order.

On the front I found that there was a second set of bolt holes for the inner bolts. Relocate the inner bolts to these holes and you end up getting more negative camber adjustment.
Compare previous:
Image

Second settings:
Image

So with room for more negative camber up front I dropped the camber from -0.3 from last weekend to -1.1. Reset front toe and I'm done.

Alignment settings were as follows:

Left front camber -1.1*.....^.....Right Front Camber -1.1*
Left Front Toe....-0.05*............Right Front Toe....-0.08*
Left Rear Camber .-0.8*............Right Rear Camber..-0.8*
Left Rear Toe.....-0.02*.....^.....Right Rear Toe.....-0.02*

So the toe on the front and rear is really touchy. Take the car off the lift and put it back on and you get different toe readings on any car. Camber doesn't move so much but I got the front and rear where I want it. The rear tires are near zero degrees which means they simply follow the front. Rear camber leans in a little more which means the back stays planted. Less camber in the back will cause the car to snap-oversteer which is hard to control. Too much negative camber causes the car to not turn. Refer back to the Laurinburg (Read more here:http://www.carolinadsm.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14434) adventures to see what happened with no rear camber.

The front is cambered in close to what I wanted which keeps it planted real well. Push the front toe outboard and you get a car that turns real quick but is a little unstable when dealing with the road crown. I can deal with it.

The biggest problem I have with the whole car deals with my wheel offset. If I had actually done some research when I bought my neon years back I would have seen that the offset wasn't right. As a result I cannot max out my front camber like most guys with as much adjustment as I have. The rear tension strut clearance issue again is due to wheel offset even though I'm running spacers on the rear. Buy the right wheel, the first time, and things will fit like they're supposed to.

Be that as it may the overall modification of the suspension went well enough. A number of hickups along the way but the work really paid off. The car sits lower in the back, the fenders no longer scrub and the car has all the suspension work done to it known to the car gods. Spring rate and wheel clearance are about the only things left to dabble with.

The ride is kinda rough, much like the Mopar High Rate springs on the KYB GR2 struts but it's not a caddy by any means. The car stays planted. It takes turns like it's riding on rails. It will out handle MANY cars on the road and you can have all the power in the world but if the suspension isn't in check you're just going to lose control.

I look forward to the autocross season this year in hopes to improve my placement in the classes. Hopefully all the work will pay off as I continue to improve the car as well as my driving skills. That's going to be it for upgrades for a while but stay tuned for details about how the racing season progresses. Thanks for reading and happy tuning!
Doug

Sometimes you forget the important stuff. I've been talking about Performance Chassis of Cary off and on but I really do appreciate the all the help the folks up there have been from start to finish with this project. If you're in North Carolina I strongly recomend these guys for all your suspension work. Without their insight and the high end equipment they use the neon would still be squishy and unpredictable. Thanks Again Mark, Fred and Jim.
Performance-Chassis.com
Cary, NC
919-466-0553
My Project thread: Here
A/C Not Working Right? Click Here

Doug95Neon
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Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Another ugly neon

Post by Doug95Neon » Mon May 11, 2009 7:49 pm

Here's some pictures of the final product. I got in some new autocross magnets this weekend from Micheal Keogh. Information about getting your own event magnets can be found here:
http://forums.neons.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=340834

Image
Image
Image
My Project thread: Here
A/C Not Working Right? Click Here

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John Mabry
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by John Mabry » Mon May 11, 2009 9:35 pm

Wow you certainly have a great deal of attention to detail--awesome project thus far!

I'm particularly jealous of the corner scales & fender rolling tool!

flatblacktrueno
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by flatblacktrueno » Fri May 15, 2009 5:40 pm

I cant believe you only got that little neg camber in the front..i got almost -2.2 degree's out of the front of mine..but conservatively backed it out to -1.8..im also on BC's..maybe slotting the coilovers and knuckles might help?
1998 Dodge Neon R/T
#128 ST CCR-SCCA
-2009 Knights Series ST Champion CCR-SCCA
-2009 Folger Subaru ST Champion CCR-SCCA

Doug95Neon
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by Doug95Neon » Sat May 16, 2009 6:42 am

Nah, the problem is wheel offset. The race wheels I run are offset so far inward that you can't help but hit the tire on the struts and tension rod. There was ZERO research done when purchasing the wheels it was "Them's purdy, put em on" and that was it. I even had wheel weights getting smacked off on a smaller tire because of the rim lip to tension strut (rear) clearance.

I'm slowly piecing together a 5 lug swap so when it's time for wheels I'll definitely get a more preferred offset to give me all that negative camber it needs.
Doug
My Project thread: Here
A/C Not Working Right? Click Here

flatblacktrueno
Neon Enthusiast
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Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Another ugly neon

Post by flatblacktrueno » Sat May 16, 2009 7:41 am

no no im talking about the front camber..i currently run just about as close to 0 camber in the rear as you can get.

what camber are you running in the front?
1998 Dodge Neon R/T
#128 ST CCR-SCCA
-2009 Knights Series ST Champion CCR-SCCA
-2009 Folger Subaru ST Champion CCR-SCCA

Doug95Neon
Neon Enthusiast
Posts: 1241
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Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Another ugly neon

Post by Doug95Neon » Sat May 16, 2009 8:12 pm

Alignment settings were as follows:

Left front camber -1.1*.....^.....Right Front Camber -1.1*
Left Front Toe....-0.05*............Right Front Toe....-0.08*
Left Rear Camber .-0.8*............Right Rear Camber..-0.8*
Left Rear Toe.....-0.02*.....^.....Right Rear Toe.....-0.02*


The struts are slotted front and rear. I set them in at that point as far negative as the tire-spring perch clearence could tolerate. That gave me a maximum negative camber of -0.5 degrees. After I noticed the second set of holes in the struts for more negative camber I moved the bolts and leaned the camber in to -1.1 degrees.

It's a combination of the width of the tire that I'm running as well as the offset of the wheel that prevents more negative camber at the knuckle/strut position. I think I could run an additional -1.0 degrees once I change offset.
D
My Project thread: Here
A/C Not Working Right? Click Here

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wickedgoodneon
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Re: Another ugly neon

Post by wickedgoodneon » Mon May 18, 2009 8:23 am

I think the race wheels are a 40+ offset, they sit really far in. We actually used a wrench between the wheel and the coil so that we wouldn't have any rubbing issues. He needs a 35 or less off set to achieve the proper camber that he wants. Car rides well tho, even tho I suck at driving it. Its like and on or off switch. Either full on the gas or full off. :shout:
Burks21 wrote:Because most SRT owners now are broke teens or idiots looking to slam their car the cheapest way possible. So they buy crap off eBay, racelands, etc.
Feedback: http://forums.neons.org/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=382275

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