Still love my Neon

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neonrog
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Still love my Neon

Post by neonrog » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:19 am

When I bought it new in 2003, I almost bought the SRT4. Except, my butt didn't fit the Viper seats, I had a teenage driver ready to hit the streets and well, I knew my 70 mile each way commute would kill the car and earn me tickets. So, the base SE car was bought as a sacrificial lamb. Of course I got laid off 3 months later with the car at 15,500 miles. And found work closer, 7 miles commute. Good thing I had already fallen in love with the car.

Car is an 03 SE. Stone white, 5 speed, AC and a radio. No power accessories. Though I intend to add the cruise control stuff as I find it in the junkyards. I did swap the 14" steel wheels for 15" "Pumpers" from a Dodge Shadow ES... And I replaced my headlights with some Depo projectors without LEDs or CFL, considering HIDs for the low beam and 100w for the highs.

My son has been using it more than I have the last few years. He was recently hired fulltime finally (he was looking like a professional student after 7 years!!!) and bought his first new car. I got my Neon back... Its a little tired with 165,000 miles on it, but is still a blast to drive. I just feel like I'm in a go-cart after driving my 95 Grand Cherokee with 3" lift...

Car needs, new timing belt, water pump, idler and such. Only code is P0016, and hoping its just the worn belt. Will get that done before looking at the cam and crank sensors. Struts are old and worn, I'll address that shortly. Balljoints seem tight, tierods seem tight, front and rear wheel bearings seem to be in good order. Lower control arm bushings are worn, hoping they aren't difficult and that might want to look at the rears as well. I generally do all my own work, but its getting tougher as I get older and deal with a back injury...

I've always had an interest in road racing. And Miller Motorsports Park is right next door. Open track days would be fun with just some suspension tuning. I've always thought the Neon had plenty of power most of the time... On the other hand, they also have a local Rally Cross group, dominated by Subies... I used to run Solo comp back in the early 80s with a modified 82 Plymouth Champ and did OK. Whichever I decide to do, will determine the coilovers or struts I choose.

I mentioned my back injury, I crushed a vertebra and have rods and screws holding me together. The stock seat was never fantastic, and I feel the frame of the seatback against my back. Are STX seats any better? I can't have a high thigh bolster as I lost a lot of flexibilty with my injury. I WISH I had kept the "Enthusiast" seats from a Daytona...

Ah well. Glad I have my car back for good. Glad my son has a job in his field. Shoot, I'm just happy to be able to wipe my own butt most days... :thumbup:
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occasional demons
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Re: Still love my Neon

Post by occasional demons » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:08 am

Most base neon seats suck. (Unless you are a 20 year old) If you have any fabbing skills, check out my how to on the Concorde seats...

You certainly need to address the timing components before even starting/cranking the engine again.
neonrog wrote:Shoot, I'm just happy to be able to wipe my own butt most days... :thumbup:

It's those little things that you take for granted, that can really be a slap in the face with age. :lol:

And I bet your wife is also very happy. :rofl:
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Post by thomas_w » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:32 am

Glad to hear you still love the Neon. They are pretty tough cars and last quite a while when treated well.

I feel your pain, though. I had back issues all my life and was looking into that type of surgery. Fortunately, it never got bad enough to require anything like that. Time will tell...

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neonrog
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Post by neonrog » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:16 am

I'd had lower back problems since my 20s. Still do. But I crashed off my bicycle 9 months after a knee replacement. Front tire went flat on my roadbike at about 40 MPH and went headfirst. Helmet saved my life. My friend is a former EMT and saw me land. Knew I had issues. SAT on me to hold me down when I came to. I was out for about 5 minutes, concussion, destroyed my T9, damaged my T7-10. Cracked C1-3, pulled some bone from my skull, broke 4 ribs. If I had tried to stand up, I'd probably be paralyzed now. So, I really didn't get a choice in surgery. In fact I still don't have memory of the ride or the crash or the first couple days post surgery... :tardbang: 2 rods and ten screws hold me upright, though I believe the bone graft is doing a good job of that as well. So yeah, I am feeling pretty good about being to wipe my own butt... I'm probably 90% of what I used to be able to do. I get sore and tired much easier. But I'm on the right side of the dirt, who am I to complain?

I had a 94 Concorde and those seats were very nice. So they FIT in the Neon? Cool!!!! We fit 2010 Ranger seats into a 88 cab. Which sits on a 90 chassis. That last year we stripped both the 90 Ranger and a 94 Explorer, everything went into the Ranger. I did the wiring modifications. But now its a 94 Explorer disguised as a 90 Ranger. I think I can fab a little bit. I'm a Jeep guy!!!

I am not driving the car just yet, I did the first couple days. I won't even think about driving it to work or out of town... I have a list of teh needed work to do and the timing belt and associated stuff is first. I have my Jeep and a truck I drive, so the Neon is fine sitting.
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Re: Still love my Neon

Post by ianguilly » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:27 pm

occasional demons wrote:Most base neon seats suck. (Unless you are a 20 year old)
I resent that comment :beatstick: I'm 20 and i thinkg base seats in all year neons were the worst.
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Post by v793jt0 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:48 pm

so what was the main difference between the base seats ... did mine come with different seats as i have not noticed the differnece when looking at other neons seats.. except for the srt and rt leather ones

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Post by neonrog » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:48 am

I'm not really aware of the differences. All I know is while the bottom cushion in my SE is still firm, the back is wearing through and I can feel frame behind the cushion, not great considering its right where my non-stock internal hardware is...

So, ordered timing belt set off Rock Auto. But won't get to the job for at least a week.

I want to ask about other issues. I had synchros fail at about 20,000 miles, and when the dealer pulled the trans for repair, they found the diff pin almost out. So, they gave me a rebuilt trans... Last year the clutch master cylinder cracked and leaked, we decided to put in a complete, pre-bled master/slave setup. I had ordered it for the 2003, didn't take into account the swap. So I had to trim a bit off the replacement slave rod. The trans STILL is stiff going from third to second, and crunches into first above 10MPH. Considering a fluid flush of the trans, and then bleed the slave. We messed with the pedal height last year with no real change. Hoping I don't have another synchro issue.

Next, I will be adding LED driving lights. THey are intended for the offroad world, but I cover desert highways at night... And no, not the cheap Walmart LEDs....
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Post by v793jt0 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:56 am

wow how much did they charge you for that? so you will be using your leds as "fog" lights?

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neonrog
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Post by neonrog » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:07 am

Local guy bought a vendors overstock. THese are wider than I like for driving lights but too bright for fogs. $50 each. I'm not sure I can get them to fit, and I don't have a foglight fascia. Then again, I keep thinking about a tight fitting pushbar...
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Post by r/tguy02 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:26 am

glad you still love your neon after all that time, i feel you on the seats though, i absolutely couldnt stand my wifes on long trips (hr+) i have lower back issues and it would kill me. I love the leather seats in my r/t though, for whatever reason they must have more lumbar support which is what i need. so if you can find them i'm sure you'de be happy with leather seats or the srs srt seats.
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neonrog
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Post by neonrog » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:59 am

I wonder about the SRS optioned SRT seats. Will I need to figure out how to hook up the side airbags? Or just ignore them? I would prefer to avoid leather. I had leather in my Concorde and living in the desert is hard on leather. But yeah, my Okole is too wide for the Viper styled seats...

Its been a few years since I last spent several hours in the car, I really want to be comfortable next spring when I make a much needed trip for family stuff. And, I need to add a trailer hitch. I have an antique desk I need to pickup from my sister in Texas. Also, I'd like the hitch for a bike rack...
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Post by Midnight_Rider » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:52 pm

The SRT-4 SRS seats do have leather accents but there are cloth inserts where you actually sit. I can vouch for their comfort. :D
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I'm not sure what to do about the SRS since your Neon wasn't equipped with side airbags from the factory (unsure if there is a standard wiring harness that would allow you to just plug and play).
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neonrog
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Post by neonrog » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:06 pm

Those do look nice. Might be best to just ignore the SRS.
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Post by ThatKevin » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:05 pm

I had leathers in my last Neon, and I found them to be pretty nice and comfortable (for an econobox car). Then again, I am 20.......
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neonrog
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Post by neonrog » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:31 pm

My 50 year old butt and damaged back prefer comfy.
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I'll keep my eye out for those nice seats!
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Post by 2005.Neon.SXT » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:08 pm

To have the airbags in the seat functional, I believe you would have to swap the control box that sits under the center console (right in front of the e-brake base). I've got the SRT airbag seats as well, and they are much comfier than the Viper Inspired ones (I don't have hardware in my back like you, but I do have arthritis in my lower spine from my service).
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Post by Midnight_Rider » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:15 am

I agree about the SRS seats being more comfy than the Viper ones- my fat butt just didn't fit in the Vipers. :roll:
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Post by neonrog » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:56 pm

2005.Neon.SXT wrote: (I don't have hardware in my back like you, but I do have arthritis in my lower spine from my service).
Thanks for your service brother, I'm retired Navy...

I'm not against wiring and such, but will see what I can find in the junkyards. I can't remember what thread I was reading where the AC inverter and such from a Caliber was added, and the steering wheel and cruise stalk from PT cruiser was added. I wonder how much other stuff from the PT crosses over.
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Post by BigMac » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:02 am

Not sure where you're located, but a set of SRT-4 airbag seats was posted for sale on Baltimore (actually Lancaster, PA) Craigslist on the 6th, for $200 OBO.

I agree with the others: these seats are definitely more comfy for us big folks than the Viper-style.
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Post by 2005.Neon.SXT » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:36 am

neonrog wrote:I'm retired Navy...
Good stuff, bro. Got a lot of respect for my Navy guys. And likewise, thank you for your service.
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Post by r/tguy02 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:22 am

yeah you def need the airbag module from under the console as well as the harness that goes to the seats.
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neonrog
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Post by neonrog » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:50 am

Guess it depends on what I really want, just the seats, or the safety side as well...
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Post by sidepipe87 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:00 pm

I bought a set of SRT airbag seats for my daily since my girlfriend doesn't like the Vipers, however I find them to be just as sloppy and uncomfortable as regular neon seats... which they basically are. I wise the seat back had better bolsters anyway.

Yes, I'm in my mid 20's but I do have a herniated disk in my lower back.
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neonrog
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Post by neonrog » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:38 pm

I've no issue with the bottom cushion of the base seat. The back is the problem, the cushion is thin and worn. Wonder if an upholstry shop could do something about it. I will be looking for the Concorde seats too though.

My list of stuff to grab at the junkyard is getting longer by the day...
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Post by occasional demons » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:36 pm

Coming soon to a project log... Cross Fire seats in a neon...
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Post by neonrog » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:54 am

SWEET!
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Post by jonnymopar » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:32 pm

occasional demons wrote:Coming soon to a project log... Cross Fire seats in a neon...
Make sure you clean those seats off EXTREMELY well before letting them anywhere near your interior. If you start using those seats, and all of a sudden you start driving poorly and pretending you're better than everyone around you, then you didn't remove all the previous owner's pompous dicketry and it has now infected you.
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Post by r/tguy02 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:37 pm

:laughing3:
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Post by gtxtreme19 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:29 pm

Pompous dicketry... love it! Bill you'd better just power wash em real good
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Post by occasional demons » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:30 pm

Well, they aren't the leather ones. They are the low grade cloth ones.

So the pompous dicketry, should be easier to wash out. See'ing as these come from a JY, perhaps the pompous dicketry got bitch slapped out of them already. :lol:


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