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My 2002 R/T Project

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JeremyJ
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2002 Dodge Neon R/T

Post: #181   PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New stereo is on the list. My factory unit isn't very responsive anymore. Sometimes the volume and pan knobs work, sometimes they don't. The four-disc changer will sometimes start skipping for no reason; I'll pop the disc out and it's spotless. It also skips over bumps and around tight corners if I'm driving aggressively. I also want Bluetooth.

Another quirk I experienced recently was an intake backfire while heel-toe downshifting into second. It's only happened once, but I don't like it. I ordered some new plug wires because I suspect the ones on it might be fifteen years old. I'm hoping that's all it was. Everything else seems normal.
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Post: #182   PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had no idea Modern offered those door pull kits.

This was my fix, possibly long before Modern came up with those brackets.

http://forum.2gn.org/viewtopic.php?t=50210

Dang it's been 7 years, 5 years of use, and still holding up.
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Post: #183   PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The MPx kit is cool and it works well, but I think $50 is excessive. I didn't even put any thought into engineering my own fix. I'm glad yours is holding up.

Today, I fixed a visual thing that's been bugging me. Ever since I removed the fogs, the silver brackets have been an eyesore for me. I contemplated cutting them out, but I didn't want to butcher the bumper.



I contemplated putting factory block off plates on both sides, but I like the idea of air going to the CAI filter through the driver's side hole. I had already drilled a one-inch hole in that bracket to help with airflow (the big hole to the far right), but part of the radiator support cut into the path a bit. You can see it best, here:



I pulled the bumper and dropped the filter down another inch or two. I had originally installed it kind of high up, which left a lot of room to come downward. I bent the tab of metal from the core support down just a little, to further open up the path. I gave it a fresh coat of semigloss black.



Since the passenger side opens to the washer bottle, I went ahead and plugged that side with a factory delete panel.



On the driver's side, I painted the brackets black, so they're barely visible. You can kind of see the more open path to the filter through here. I might eventually make some sort of splash shield to fill the opening at the bottom, so the filter is mostly enclosed in this space. We get a lot of rain here and I'd hate to splash too much up there.



Overall, I think it looks a whole lot cleaner. They both look solid black until you squat down and really look in the open side. Plus, it's totally reversible. I can still reinstall fog lights down the road, if I want to.


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Post: #184   PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a more direct before and after, with the flash on.




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Post: #185   PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, I used the factory block off, and cut out the center so it had the same basic opening without it mounted. I put a piece of metal cut to shape from an oil filter, I think, that had been perforated with round holes. I painted it black to match the other side. It still let air through, but wasn't too obvious.


Of course when the car got totaled all that went away with the Kaminari front fascia that I replaced it with.
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Post: #186   PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Similar to the placement of the Mopar Performance CAI air filter on my car. The splash shield is a good idea but I will admit to still worrying when driving in a heavy rain (call it the "Manny effect"). Shocked
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Post: #187   PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work. I like the fact that you had the forethought to make it reversible.

I never considered that being a feature of the 03-05 bumper: even with fog lights in place, air can still travel around them.

I thought the heavy rain CAI problem was the "Nicko" effect. Wasn't he the one that hydrolocked on the way home from Carlisle one year?
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Post: #188   PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think deep water and CAI's have claimed a few member's engines here.

Pretty sure if I had one, I would have been in trouble, I think the second or 3rd time I went to Carlisle. Was about 10 minutes away to arriving at the Motel on Thursday, and it began down pouring. The streets began to flood, and it got deep enough to fill my muffler despite the car running.

It was pretty loud for a while until it dried out. I thought maybe it came loose. I guess soaked packing doesn't absorb sound too well for some odd reason.
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Post: #189   PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonnymopar wrote:
Nice work. I like the fact that you had the forethought to make it reversible.

If this was a base model bumper, I would have already cut it up. Being the increasingly harder-to-find R/T bumper, I didn't feel comfortable doing anything irreversible with it. I like the fact that the '03+ bumpers have vents around the fogs, but that's about all I like about them. I've never been a fan of the bumpers as a whole. I still think I'd pick the '01-02 R/T body style over the SRT, with the one exception being the rear bumper. I just wish I could use the '00-02 tails with it. Whatever...I'm rambling.

A splash shield likely won't do shit for deep water, but it should help a bit with, you know...splashes. We don't get a lot of flooded streets here, even during heavy rain. I've never had an issue with any of the low-hanging CAI's that I've had over the years. If the weather's bad enough, I have a lifted Jeep that absolutely loves deep water.

occasional demons wrote:
IIRC, I used the factory block off, and cut out the center so it had the same basic opening without it mounted. I put a piece of metal cut to shape from an oil filter, I think, that had been perforated with round holes. I painted it black to match the other side. It still let air through, but wasn't too obvious.


My original plan was to do something similar, but I tried this more open idea first. I'm considering a modified delete panel as an option for the driver's side. Maybe if the black paint starts to chip off and show the silver brackets again, I'll try a more finished look with the cut panel as a trim piece or something.
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Post: #190   PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paint oxidizes, unless you have a way to add hardener. But going to the trouble of using a spray gun for that small of a project is tough to justify the effort, unless you don't mind and have the equipment.

There is always black oil based quart cans such as Rustoleum, and the add in hardener you can find at TSC.

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/majic-catalyst-hardener-1-2-pint?cm_vc=-10005

That would help keep it from oxidizing, and also make the paint more durable. Just dip it into the can or tray so you don't waste a whole can, and let it drip dry...

TSC KENT
8420 SOUTH 228TH ST, KENT, WA 98031 253-520-2333
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Post: #191   PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link. I'll keep an eye on it and watch how it holds up.

I also contemplated some truck bed liner. I have both the spray on kind and some Herculiner roll on type. I lined the floors of my Jeep with it and that stuff is really tough. The area is so small, that I don't think the texture would be very noticeable.
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Post: #192   PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally replaced the haggard plug wires with some Taylors and rerouted the cables under the manifold again. Time for another before and after.





I think the old wires were probably the ones that came on the car in '02. The boots were failing and they were pretty beat. Plus, I could actually feel a difference with the new ones on it. That doesn't happen unless the ones removed were shot.
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Post: #193   PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they Spiro Pro's? I have them on all my neons. They last forever.

After discovering them, I won't use anything else. Laughing

The ones I put on my '01 back in 2004 are still limber and still have very low resistance. And they were cheaper than the Mopar replacements.

"Made in USA" is also a nice bonus. Not sure you can still say that about the Mopar wires. Seems they have been importing more and more for "Genuine" parts.
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Post: #194   PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're ThunderVolt 8.2 wires. I put the same ones in my Jeep a couple years ago and they've been perfect. Taylor makes some good wires and they're usually priced reasonably. I've had good luck with MSD wires on my previous Neons, but they're a little bit more expensive and the grey boots bother me a little. Not only that, but MSD parts don't seem to be as reliable as they used to be. Seems like one out of every five MSD coil packs tends to take a shit in less than a year, which is pretty unacceptable.
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Post: #195   PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cable tuck is nice. Very clean engine bay Smile I want to get some new wires for my car since one is different then the others. Taylor has them for the SRT-4 but I can only find them in pink on their site. That is what it shows anyhow. Taylor HQ is about a 35 minute drive from me too. Maybe I can get them to make me a custom set haha
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Post: #196   PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I got the wires from Summit. They had black, red, and blue wires to choose from. I was going to get black to keep with the theme, but I'm a sucker for red plug wires. I can't explain it.
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Post: #197   PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MyNeonSaysHi wrote:
Taylor has them for the SRT-4 but I can only find them in pink on their site.


How much different are the normal DOHC wires from the SRT? I mean unless there is some drastic valve cover difference, I don't see why 2.0/2.4 DOHC wires wouldn't work. Newer 2.4 spark plugs are different at the seal seat, but other than that, the plugs are basically the same from the seat up.

SOHC wires will plug in, but the plug boot seal will be a mile too high. Very Happy
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Post: #198   PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

occasional demons wrote:
MyNeonSaysHi wrote:
Taylor has them for the SRT-4 but I can only find them in pink on their site.


How much different are the normal DOHC wires from the SRT? I mean unless there is some drastic valve cover difference, I don't see why 2.0/2.4 DOHC wires wouldn't work. Newer 2.4 spark plugs are different at the seal seat, but other than that, the plugs are basically the same from the seat up.

SOHC wires will plug in, but the plug boot seal will be a mile too high. Very Happy

No difference to my knowledge.

Jeremy, car doesn't have AC? Doesn't get too hot up there I take it? My ol 99 Neon didn't have factory AC, I dealt with it. (Midwest summers can get very hot) But it is nice to have.
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Post: #199   PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I removed the AC and didn't bother reinstalling it. I had to discharge and remove most of it for the engine swap and I didn't want to pay to have it recharged and go through the trouble of reinstalling it all. It can get pretty hot here during the summer, but I can usually deal with it. Power windows and a sunroof make it manageable for the most part (as long as I'm moving). Once it hits the mid eighties, I'll drive my Jeep instead, since it has AC. Plus, weight reduction FTW.
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Post: #200   PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Word. Yeah I am sure theat made the engine job a ton easier. I didn't mind not having AC in my old SRT, but deleting the powersteering was really stupid on my half. Will never do that again/
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Post: #201   PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was contemplating one of these for a bit:

https://neongoodies.com/Goodies/Race_Rack/Race_Rack_17.shtml

It's a depowered rack that's converted for manual use. Vitor makes good stuff, so I trust the build quality on it. I just don't think even this rack would be suitable for a daily driver. If I convert this one to weekend duty or end up picking up another one for a track car, then I'll consider it. The AC removal decluttered the bay nicely and I can imagine the PS removal would be super clean. Not to mention all the weight that removes. I just can't commit to manual steering in a DD.
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Post: #202   PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does de-clutter the bay but I personally would not do it unless it is a track only car like you said. Ran no PS on my old SRT and I regretted it. (Looped the lines) Made driving such a PITA. Never again
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Post: #203   PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it also depends on where the lines are looped: https://forums.neons.org/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=419494
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Post: #204   PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my old '02 Neon, I had a Proform shift light on my steering column. It was effective, but huge. I really liked having it, so I've been shopping around for something similar for this car, but smaller and easy to hook up. I heard a bunch of good things about Raptor Performance shift lights, so I went ahead and ordered one.

It's fairly small, but it's bright as hell.



It stays out the way from my perspective.



But it's hard to miss when it's time to shift.



I set it for 6700 and it's perfect. The only thing I don't like is that it flashes on, every time I start the car. That's going to get old.
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Post: #205   PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My disc changer hasn't been working correctly for a while and the rotary knobs on the head unit never worked well. For Fathers Day, I got a Pioneer DEH-X6900BT. I have the previous version of it in my Jeep and I love it. It has built-in Bluetooth and the display offers an infinite combination of colors, so it can match any dashboard.

I ordered it from Crutchfield, so it came with a handy harness adapter to make installation plug & play. I soldered and heat-shrinked the connections and then zip tied them together.





I routed the mic up onto my steering column. They suggest it goes on the visor, but that tends to leave the wire slightly exposed and requires a bit more effort. You can barely see it here.



I got the buttons to match the factory glow pretty well, but I kept the screen white, so it's easier to see during the day.





I love this stereo. It's easy to use and the customization options are ample. The EQ allows for some very fine tuning. The iPhone pairing works really well and it takes about ten seconds to set up. Probably the best part is that it goes for only $100 in most places, and it's worth every penny.

The only downside is that I've lost my disc changer. It's not the end of the world, but it's nice to have. At least I can use my phone to stream music now.
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Post: #206   PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rev limiter is my shift light. Laughing

My 120GB Zune is my CD changer. thumbup I've had it since 2008, IIRC, and it's still awesome.

I do use Bluetooth every now and then for the phone, like when i forget to make sure the Zune's battery is charged enough.
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Post: #207   PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too bad they don't make combination shift light microphones.

Looks good!
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Post: #208   PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonnymopar wrote:
Too bad they don't make combination shift light microphones.

Looks good!


The Shift Mic! Let's patent that one. Quick.

The stock head unit weighed about two pounds more than the Pioneer unit and the disc changer weighed about the same as both head units together. Weight reduction bonus, I guess. The shade that closes over the sunroof is another piece I removed. Like the AC, some people really like having the shade and use it frequently, but I'm not one of them. I never use it, so I pulled it out. I get more usable glass this way.


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Post: #209   PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now there's a scary dude! ROFL


I have a shade for my '99, that I'll get around to installing the next time I get the urge to remove the headliner.

The thing that sucks is when the sun is just right, depending on what direction/time of day, you need a hat to keep from being blinded.

Maybe a shift speaker, that blares "Shift Mother F*cker, SHIFT!" Shocked
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Post: #210   PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Bill about the sunroof. When I head to work around noon it blares straight in at my face in my TL.

solder for the win! New headunit looks good. I am actually looking to put my factory unit back in haha. Prev. owner has this crappy DVD flip up crap unit installed. I have 2 factory headunits so I need to yank it out and put the stocker in.
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2005 Neon SRT-4 #6 and WILL STAY
2008 TL Type S
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