thomas_w's log

Do you have a project going or will you be starting a project here very soon and just want to keep a log of everything you and when? Share with everyone every step of the way what sort of progress you are making on your project.
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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:37 pm

Some more progress: since the paint on my DIY airdam was already chipping I plastidipped it. We'll see if it lasts any longer. So far it seems to be holding up. The speckles on the image are just reflections from the flash:
Image

Tonight I replaced the wheel bearings/hubs since the old ones seemed hard to rotate around. They were probably still the original so I figured it would not be a bad idea to just replace them on both sides:
Image

While the drums were off I figured I might as well give them a quick coat of paint. I am waiting for them to dry so that I can put everything back together:
Image

The next items on the list are going to be suspension and tires. I am still not sure whether I want to go with coil overs or just quick struts. I am not really looking for lowering the car or more stiffness. I will have to do some more research but I think I still have some time before it really needs to be done.

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ianguilly
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Post by ianguilly » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:25 am

Buy the new koni str.t struts. they can be had for about $400.
-Neon #3 1999 Dodge Neon R/T coupe,DOHC MTX DD "Christine X2"

Official "I'm gonna drive my Neon until it dies" Club Member #110

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Post by ragek23 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:29 pm

Yeah I keep all my wheel bearings fairly fresh. just had the fronts done recently and I saw a gas mileage increase.

2002 Neon SXT Sold
2006 EVO MR Weekend Warrior
2003 SRT 4 DD
-Kevin

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:57 pm

ianguilly wrote:Buy the new koni str.t struts. they can be had for about $400.
Thanks for the tip. They are getting pretty good reviews online. If I go for those I would probably have to get them installed as I do not have the equipment nor experience to swap my springs onto those.
ragek23 wrote:Yeah I keep all my wheel bearings fairly fresh. just had the fronts done recently and I saw a gas mileage increase.
That was my motivation as well. My gas mileage seems a little lower than what it used to be so I figured this may fix that.

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Post by ianguilly » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:15 am

Shops will be pricey, but you could pick these up.

http://www.harborfreight.com/macpherson ... 61654.html

I've used them before, works.
-Neon #3 1999 Dodge Neon R/T coupe,DOHC MTX DD "Christine X2"

Official "I'm gonna drive my Neon until it dies" Club Member #110

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:54 pm

ianguilly wrote:Shops will be pricey, but you could pick these up.

http://www.harborfreight.com/macpherson ... 61654.html

I've used them before, works.
Thanks for the tip Ian. A friend at work did his shocks before. I probably will ask him to help me out. I just do not want a spring to blow in my face.

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:52 pm

Crap, this is what greeted me when I got into the neon this morning:
Image

A small piece of my dash (next to the upper left corner of the passenger airbag cover) broke off while sitting in the garage. Darn cold weather!!!

I tried to glue it back on but the "super glue" stuck to my fingers, but not really to the plastic. I guess it is too cold right now as well so I will have to wait a little before I can really fix this. :(

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Post by occasional demons » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:05 pm

Damn, that's brutal. Now I'm afraid to look inside Casper. No garage here.


You can "Borrow" spring compressors from AutoZone, but you need $55 for a deposit. They are a bit more user friendly.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/access ... 555557_0_0_


I have Koni STR.T struts on the '99, and I love them. They are firm, but not annoyingly firm.

I got them from here: http://classicgarage.com/dodge12.html they shipped pretty quickly, and the shipping was reasonable.

You may want to set some extra $ aside for upper mounts too. If the front mounts are not rusted, and the bearing is hard to turn, you can carefully take the bearing apart, and put some fresh wheel bearing grease in the plastic housing.

I had to do this on the GF's '96, since she didn't opt for new mounts. No one seems to stock them, so unless the car can be down for a day or two, there isn't many options.

So if you suspect that you may need them, it is wise to call ahead for stock/availability.
Bill
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Post by Midnight_Rider » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:15 pm

:banghead: on the plastic breaking in the cold.
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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:17 am

The Konis do look nice and get pretty good reviews apparently. My current shocks seem to be okay on the simple push down test for now. So it looks like they are okay to at least last until the summer when it is warmer, even though they are 10 years old with 75K miles on them.

The upper mounts were replaced a few years ago since the old ones were rusting out. So they should still be okay I would think. But thanks for the heads-up.

I know a friend of mine over here had some local shop swap his springs onto new shocks for very little money. I will check with him to see as that may be another option.

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Post by ianguilly » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:26 pm

Dash is a quick $20 fix if you have a good junkyard near. Damn dashes are so fragile.
-Neon #3 1999 Dodge Neon R/T coupe,DOHC MTX DD "Christine X2"

Official "I'm gonna drive my Neon until it dies" Club Member #110

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:10 pm

ianguilly wrote:Dash is a quick $20 fix if you have a good junkyard near. Damn dashes are so fragile.
Yes, that is probably what I will end up doing. I glued the piece back in place for now. But it is noticeable. Quite annoying since the dash is in pretty good shape otherwise.

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Post by gtxtreme19 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:55 pm

My dash piece was pretty busted up near the windshield, it may have been due to having it replaced though. Hopefully you can find one in good shape!
-Mike
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Skitlz wrote:Gramps, get a GPS.
Gramps Prefers Streetmaps. :D

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:34 am

I checked the local junk yard and they do not have a single neon, not even a 2gn. Maybe I need to check the ones in Cincinnati that people went to for the neons.org meet last year. Supposedly, a pick&pull in Columbus has a couple of neons according to their web site. In the meantime I took another stab at gluing the piece back in there and patching it up as best as I could. I still see the crack since I know where exactly it is. But it is not too bad:
Image

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Post by Midnight_Rider » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:41 pm

Wow, I don't see it but, like you said, you know it's there so it probably sticks out to you every time that you look at it. Still looks very good for its age though!
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Post by occasional demons » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:07 pm

:withstupid:

Yeah, I had to go back and look to see where it had broken. :lol:
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Post by ianguilly » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:36 pm

If you want Thomas ill grab you one next time I good. They're cheap.
-Neon #3 1999 Dodge Neon R/T coupe,DOHC MTX DD "Christine X2"

Official "I'm gonna drive my Neon until it dies" Club Member #110

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:30 pm

ianguilly wrote:If you want Thomas ill grab you one next time I good. They're cheap.
Thanks Ian, I appreciate the offer. I could also join you; maybe practicing taking that part of the dash apart and the airbag out on a junk car is not a bad idea compared to doing it on my own car :lol:

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Post by ianguilly » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:25 am

They're pretty easy just have to pop up the top dash and HVAC cover and all the screws will be exposed.
-Neon #3 1999 Dodge Neon R/T coupe,DOHC MTX DD "Christine X2"

Official "I'm gonna drive my Neon until it dies" Club Member #110

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:06 pm

ianguilly wrote:They're pretty easy just have to pop up the top dash and HVAC cover and all the screws will be exposed.
That sounds easy enough. I am sure I can handle that :)

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:36 pm

Very minor update: my steering felt a little jerky so I figured I try and flush the power steering fluid. Made a mess of course, but that seems to be common :lol: But it seems to have fixed it as the steering now feels nice and smooth again :D

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:09 pm

My new shocks arrived today. I went with the Konis:
Image

It is probably going to be a while until I get to install them. I got them now because they are on sale everywhere right now. I probably should replace the bushings at least at the front. I do hear a clunk sometimes when making a turn. I was thinking of the Moog problem solvers, possible the whole LCA assembly, and the bushings for the stabilizer bar.

I also have some shaking in the steering wheel sometimes. Maybe I should replace the outer tie rods while I have all this apart. That way I only have to get an alignment once after it is all done. Since I am not a mechanic by any means any advice would be welcome.

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Post by occasional demons » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:43 pm

:thumbup:

You should like the Koni's. Firmer than stock, but not overbearing.
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Post by Midnight_Rider » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:54 pm

Not OEM but Gramps likes the orange color. :lol:
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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:17 pm

occasional demons wrote::thumbup:

You should like the Koni's. Firmer than stock, but not overbearing.
Yes, I am looking forward to trying them out. Should definitely be a lot better than the worn ones I have on now :lol:
Midnight_Rider wrote:Not OEM but Gramps likes the orange color.
Yes, they should pop a little more than the current black ones, even though most of it will probably be covered by the wheels. I hope they go on easily.

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Post by Neon4Life » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:50 pm

nice shocks, and on the other items, you should try to change them out all at once if you can. would save you money in the long run for not having to take it in for an alignment 2 times.
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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Thu May 01, 2014 12:19 am

Neon4Life wrote:nice shocks, and on the other items, you should try to change them out all at once if you can. would save you money in the long run for not having to take it in for an alignment 2 times.
Thanks! And yes, that was my thought exactly. Most of the bushings are probably still the original ones. So I am sure they are at the end of their life after 191k miles.

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R/T William
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Post by R/T William » Thu May 01, 2014 12:26 am

just read this log car looks great for being 15 yrs old make me wanna go out and get another neon just to restore. great job keep the post coming :thumbup:
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2003 Red R/T -***SOLD***
2007 Red Mazda RX-8:TurboXS 3" exhst, Gold Rota MXR-R 18x9.5-DD
1998 Black Plymouth Neon Espresso- project car viewtopic.php?t=67988

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thomas_w
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Post by thomas_w » Thu May 01, 2014 9:06 am

R/T William wrote:just read this log car looks great for being 15 yrs old make me wanna go out and get another neon just to restore. great job keep the post coming :thumbup:
Thanks! I try to do my best to keep her alive and kicking :)

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ianguilly
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Post by ianguilly » Fri May 02, 2014 8:55 am

Do all the stuff at once, lca are a pita but yours being so late that shouldnt be an issue.
-Neon #3 1999 Dodge Neon R/T coupe,DOHC MTX DD "Christine X2"

Official "I'm gonna drive my Neon until it dies" Club Member #110

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