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My 2002 R/T Project

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occasional demons
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Post: #241   PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, I used the Mancini aluminum VC on my '01, and figured it helped some with the noise, but possibly it was all in the new exhaust guides. The new casting Magnum head I installed later is just as quiet. I put used valves in that head, with the exception of the two new ones I had to use due to the donor head having bent valves.

Possibly the Mancini cover s a bit thicker casting than the Mopar unit. But for all I know, they just bought a bunch of surplus Magnum VC's and had them powder coated.

There is a boss cast into the Mancini unit near the oil filler hole for another hole to be drilled/tapped for another PVC/air make up location. IDK if the Mopar VC's have that feature tho.

Edit: went back a few pages, and seen your old VC has the exact same boss, so either they are pretty good re pops, or they were surplus.

Of course you can't get anything "neon" from Mancini anymore.

I only got as much as I did, due to them having a huge clearance at stupid low pricing.

I mean a more than complete SOHC rocker set for under $50... You can't touch those for under $400 from Mopar.
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Post: #242   PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"It doesn't get that hot in Western Washington," they said.

"Yeah, I don't really need AC in the car," I said.

"Weight reduction FTW," I said.



Thank God for my Jeep (with working AC). I don't think I'll be driving the Neon anytime soon. Some of you southerners may be laughing at my sub-100 heatwave, but this is intense for us up here. Almost no one has AC in their houses here, so we all just bake at home. It was 82 degrees in my house, at midnight last night. It sucks.
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Post: #243   PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weight Reduction FTW!! haha

I know the heat and 95 is hot when you cant cool off.

Im surprised its not even cooling off at night, that was one of the best things about the west coast was that night dropped to 50 deg at night. (at least in the Bay Area)

At least you have something else to drive!
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Post: #244   PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Late at night, it drops to about sixty outside, which feels great. Unfortunately the house is so baked by that point, that it takes a while to cool down. By the time we're comfortable inside (early morning), it starts to get really hot outside again and the cycle continues. Absolutely everywhere is sold out of air conditioners, too.

I start to struggle above eighty, so this has been miserable for me. I love sunshine, but this heat is rough.
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Post: #245   PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It regularly gets over 85 at my work in the summer. Then add in the humidity. What really sucks is if i have to do work in the ceiling, which is about 25 feet up. They have no roof vents so all the heat pools up there. It stays over 100 most of the day up there.

When you come back down, it feels like A/C.

My '99 coupe doesn't have A/C but oddly enough, as long as you are moving, it doesn't seem too bad. It is a lot better than driving the Subie or my '01 neon with all 4 windows down, and the wind noise is even quieter.

I don't have to crank the stereo nearly as high in the coupe vs the sedans with the windows open at 65 mph.

A bit ironic that my winter beater (the Impreza ) has A/C, and my summer car doesn't.

But I agree, the heat sucks. You can only take so much off before everyone claws their eyes out of their heads.

Getting old is a bitch. It could stay between 65 and 75 year 'round, and I would be happy.
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Post: #246   PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'd have a hard time here haha.
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Post: #247   PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll ask a stupid question- approximately how much weight do you save by not having (or removing existing) A/C in a Neon? I rarely use mine but will confess to using it at the end of each day at Carlisle after suffereing in the PA sun and humidity every July. Laughing
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Post: #248   PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a DD, not enough to make it worthwhile removing it.

Maybe 20 to 30 pounds tops. That would be completely removing everything, not just the compressor. The compressor is probably the heaviest item, but I doubt it weighs 20 pounds.

Plus if the car was totaled by an insurance company, it would probably knock the value of the car by a large chunk. They get a chubby over missing or damaged items from the build sheet, but don't want to give any credit for the stuff that is not.

I like a/c most when I've had a long day, and don't want to deal with the road noise. Even the exhaust noise when I drove the '01 would annoy me in those situations. And it isn't really that loud. But at least i could roll up the windows and cut down on the ambient noise.
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Post: #249   PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The drained AC system weighed almost exactly 25 pounds, but that was strictly under-hood parts. There's still a condenser and related parts under the dash.
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Post: #250   PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JeremyJ wrote:
The drained AC system weighed almost exactly 25 pounds, but that was strictly under-hood parts. There's still an evaporator and related parts under the dash.


Fixed. Very Happy

The evaporator might weigh 2 pounds, if that, empty. When I had it out of my '99 to clean it, it was very light. I put it all back, just in case I decide I want A/C someday. The rest of the HVAC module, you are stuck with, unless you find an ultra rare 2gn non A/C HVAC unit ot replace it with.





Pulling the back seats out would probably net you close to the same, and are a lot cheaper to put back in place.

Just don't get pulled over by the same anal police officer twice, or they might make you get truck plates for it. They do that crap in Ohio. Since you can't legally have passengers in the back seat, it becomes a truck.

Now, if you wanted to avoid emission testing, you could pay the ~$80/year for over 10,000 pound capacity truck plates. Those are emissions exempt. It's a loophole my employer uses, because they don't want to be bothered with E check every two years.

May as well use their laws to your advantage in emissions testing counties, if you get the truck plate fine slapped on you.
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Post: #251   PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah yeah. The condenser was in front of the radiator. I've been told the entire HVAC unit under the dash weighs about five pounds less for the non-AC version. As much as I like weight reduction, I'm not about to pull my dash for five pounds.
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Post: #252   PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^Yeah totally not worth it to go that route.

I removed the AC stuff underhood and PS stuff on the SRT. Regret removing the PS of the two. But if I could of done it again I would of never removed any of it. I mainly did it because my PS pump was acting up and didn't want to pay big bucks on a new OEM unit. Had issues with a Reman. unit I installed so I said screw it and just removed it along with the AC. So much more engine bay space! That was a nice benefit.
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Post: #253   PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JeremyJ wrote:
I've been hearing a slight tick coming from the engine at cruising speeds. It's really subtle and can't be heard at idle, but it's driving me nuts. Everything's new, so it shouldn't be happening.

So I figured out that the noise happens at or very near 3000 RPM. It's silent below that and just above, but "clicky" right around 3K. This is a pretty frequent cruising speed, so it sounds constant while driving, but it's pretty limited to a very specific range. I still haven't confirmed what's causing it.
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Post: #254   PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JeremyJ wrote:
I got tired of the front end squeaks and ordered a set of Moog ball joints and TRE's. I'm not looking forward to the install, but I am looking forward to a smoother, quieter front end.

I've had these ball joints and TRE's just hanging out in my garage for months, now. I finally rented the ball joint removal tool and I still haven't been able to talk myself into doing this. I was conflicted about doing all that work and leaving stock control arm bushings in place. The metal Realtune bushings are super cool, but way too expensive. A set of Prothanes are affordable, but the install looks like a major pain in the ass. Modern sells new control arms with bushings pressed in, but they want a silly amount of money for those, too.

I really dig the idea of the Moog Problem Solvers to replace the larger bushing. They seem like a good combination of improved performance like the metal units, but at the price of the poly units. I discovered Moog sells entire control arm assemblies with problem solvers and the exact ball joints I had purchased, already installed. Rock Auto even had them for less than $60 each. So it's comparable to what Modern sells on their site, but less than 1/3 the cost.



I ordered a pair. I'll provide some feedback once they're installed with the Moog TRE's. The front end should be tightened up a bit and quieter.

And on that note, who wants to buy a set of brand new Moog ball joints?
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Last edited by JeremyJ on Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post: #255   PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the Moog problem solver control arms on my 1st gen for the exact same reason: it was more or less the same price than the bushings and boil joint with less the hassle. I am glad I did.
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Post: #256   PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How'd they feel? Any noticeable improvement in handling? Poly control arm bushings are supposed to drastically improve turn-in response and I'm curious to see how these compare to the fifteen year old stockers.
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Post: #257   PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They do feel a lot better than the old ones. I do not have poly and this was probably the first time this was done on this car. Since it had over 190K miles on it they should naturally feel better. I upgraded the shocks at the same time, which waters down the difference measure. But after upgrading all of these bushings and suspension parts it feels like a new car again Wink
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Post: #258   PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good enough for me.
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Post: #259   PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The aftermarket woke up and started using poly bushings? I may have to think about this as I'm about to register an 01 and I still have to build an 05 ROFL
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Post: #260   PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the horizontal bushings in the Moog arms are a similar type of rubber as the OEM bushings, but the vertical bushing is changed quite a bit. The Problem Solver is actually more like a spherical bearing with a polyurethane coating over it. It should perform similarly to the all-metal spherical joint versions like Realtune, but with a rubber coating and at a small fraction of the cost. I really wanted the Realtune bushings, but $250 for the set is just unreasonable for this car. If I was doing track days every weekend...maybe. I need better pads, tires, and brake fluid before this car will ever see a track.

Here's what the Moog Problem Solvers look like:



Here's a 250$ set of metal bushings from Realtune:



Ignoring the horizontal bushings in the Realtune picture, you can see the basic spherical joint concept is the same for both types of vertical bushing replacement. There's no doubt the Realtune units are beefier, but I still can't justify the price difference. Bottom line, I'm sure these Moog units will improve the handling of the car and the price is too good to pass up.

SIDE NOTE: I'm referring to the bushings that are bolted vertically to the car as vertical bushings, and the ones that have a bolt running horizontally, as horizontal bushings. The name may actually refer to the axis of their intended motion, instead of the way they face when installed, so it could go either way. I've seen these referenced both ways, so please correct me if my terminology is wrong and I'll edit it to avoid confusion.
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Post: #261   PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the Moog control arms and TREs installed this weekend and had it aligned. Steering input feels a little bit more direct and immediate. The new parts completely cured the terrible grinding noises I was having up front. Based on the condition of everything I removed, it was definitely the ball joints.



These bushings looked totally fine:



These ones were wearing out, but not terrible (yet):



The ball joints were shot:



The TREs were tired, but seemed to function alright. Here's everything installed:





My toe angle was an absolute mess after the install; with the wheel pointed straight, the front tires were both turned outward a noticeable amount. The new TREs were shorter than the old ones I took off and I obviously didn't take that into consideration when I screwed them onto the rod at the same point the previous ones had been marked. I drove it a couple miles to the tire shop like this and it was squirrelly as hell. The guy at the shop told me the toe was off the scale. He did complement me on the car, though and said it was pretty cool.

One problem I had with the (somewhat ironically named) Moog Problem Solver control arms, is the same issue this guy had:

http://forum.2gn.org/viewtopic.php?t=67769&highlight=moog+control+arm

Basically, the sleeve in the vertical bushing pushes through the washer at the top of the assembly, long before the required torque is reached.



So those bushings are compressed a few millimeters farther than they were designed to be and the torque on that bolt is about forty foot-pounds shy of where it's supposed to be. But the bolts have Loctite on them and they're still tight as hell. I'm going to keep an eye on them and see what happens over time. I may end up rebuilding the factory control arms and reinstalling them if these give me any trouble because of this defect.
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Post: #262   PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IDK if you read through this or not...


https://forums.neons.org/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=408943&sid=bead1e1a27043223d558b2ae702d200d&start=80
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Post: #263   PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I did. The arms I got clearly have the spherical Problem Solver joints, unlike the few people who received them with standard rubber bushings in the vertical spot. And the size discrepancies with the openings in the stock arms were irrelevant to me, since I bought the entire replacement arms.

I think it's safe to say at this point that Moog has a good product on their hands, but they still haven't fleshed out the R&D for us Neon folks quite yet.
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Post: #264   PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to hear these resolved your noise issues. It looks like your ball joints were not in that good of a shape anymore.

I had the same issue with the wheels not being parallel anymore after putting things together. I adjusted the tie rods by just eye balling it. I got it close enough to drive to the shop to get it aligned without it making too much noise.
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Post: #265   PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it me or did anyone notice the New LCA pictured is the SRT style ROFL
Apparently the aftermarket realized the SRT and Non LCA's are identical except where the sway bar mounts. So the aftermarket is now offering the stronger SRT arm Rolling Eyes Laughing
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Post: #266   PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are different part numbers for the SRT arm versus the base Neon arm. I ordered the SRT part numbers intentionally, hoping they'd be based on the stronger arms.

thomas_w wrote:
I had the same issue with the wheels not being parallel anymore after putting things together. I adjusted the tie rods by just eye balling it. I got it close enough to drive to the shop to get it aligned without it making too much noise.


I was going to do that, but I'm too lazy; I really didn't want to lift it back up again. It made for an interesting trip through town.
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Post: #267   PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a few days on the road with these control arms, I can say that they are definitely more responsive than the stock ones. It's not a huge difference, but it's noticeable. Assuming they don't wiggle loose or cause any problems because of the sleeve issue, I'll stick with them.

I pulled off the valve cover again and removed the exhaust rockers (since that's where the sound is most audible), hoping to see something that could be making the tick that I keep hearing. Everything looked fine. I watched some videos that illustrated what bad valve guides look like and they all showed obvious side to side movement in the valve springs when pulled on by hand. I grabbed all of the valve spring assemblies and tried to wiggle them back and forth. In two of them, I could feel an absolutely tiny bit of play, but it's barely enough to feel or see; we're talking microns. I can't even verify if the valve itself is moving in the guide or the springs themselves have a tiny bit of side to side play in them. I don't know for sure what's causing the noise, but I do know it's really bugging me.
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Post: #268   PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much play do the rockers have side to side on the shaft?

There was a lengthy post on neons.org about moving the spacers to balance out the side motion, but I didn't see much to work with there on my '01, not that it was an issue, but just something I looked at while i was in there assembling the Magnum head.

About all you could do if there is excess slapping of the rocker side to side is try to find some shim washers large enough to slide over the shaft and take up a bit of slack, if applicable.

I have gotten those from Mc Master Carr, but not that large.
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Post: #269   PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a lot. A couple of them will click side to side a little, but all of the pressure on them is up and down. I can't imagine there's a lot of force on the sides of them. Any sort of shim would have to be paper thin.
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Post: #270   PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too have a ticking noise after a rebuild but I think mine are the lifters. How many miles/hours do you have on the rebuilt head?
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1998 r/t Project Log --> http://forum.2gn.org/viewtopic.php?t=66496
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