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Drag Racing a Stock Neon

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:01 pm
by Tyke
I'm driving a 2004 SXT and basically, I'm going to be drag racing my friend in his 5-speed HHR LS. I just came here for a little advice on how to get an optimal launch and how to shift for the best times. Once again, my car is pretty much stock, running street tires. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Also, poll for fun!

Re: Drag Racing a Stock Neon

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:47 pm
by XxWhiteNeonxX
Tyke wrote:I'm driving a 2004 SXT and basically, I'm going to be drag racing my friend in his 5-speed HHR LS. I just came here for a little advice on how to get an optimal launch and how to shift for the best times. Once again, my car is pretty much stock, running street tires. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Also, poll for fun!
im assuming yours is a 5 speed as well.. If so, shift at 5500 every gear except first. First you can rev a hair past 5500 to help compensate for the rpm loss going from first to second.
Start with launching at like 2500 and go up from there.

-Cody

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:07 pm
by Barry McCockener
Is he bone stock?

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:16 pm
by Tyke
Thanks for the great advice, WhiteNeon!

And Barry, yes we are both pretty much bone stock, with the exception of K&N filters and a couple other small things like that.

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:25 pm
by Barry McCockener
What other "couple other small things" are you talking about?

Re: Drag Racing a Stock Neon

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:19 pm
by racer12306
XxWhiteNeonxX wrote:
Tyke wrote:I'm driving a 2004 SXT and basically, I'm going to be drag racing my friend in his 5-speed HHR LS. I just came here for a little advice on how to get an optimal launch and how to shift for the best times. Once again, my car is pretty much stock, running street tires. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Also, poll for fun!
im assuming yours is a 5 speed as well.. If so, shift at 5500 every gear except first. First you can rev a hair past 5500 to help compensate for the rpm loss going from first to second.
Start with launching at like 2500 and go up from there.

-Cody
Not really.

Rev to the limiter and launch higher than 2500.

Tire spin is good, to a point. You just have to find that point.

Re: Drag Racing a Stock Neon

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:45 am
by Fuzzyneon
racer12306 wrote:
XxWhiteNeonxX wrote:
Tyke wrote:I'm driving a 2004 SXT and basically, I'm going to be drag racing my friend in his 5-speed HHR LS. I just came here for a little advice on how to get an optimal launch and how to shift for the best times. Once again, my car is pretty much stock, running street tires. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Also, poll for fun!
im assuming yours is a 5 speed as well.. If so, shift at 5500 every gear except first. First you can rev a hair past 5500 to help compensate for the rpm loss going from first to second.
Start with launching at like 2500 and go up from there.

-Cody
Not really.

Rev to the limiter and launch higher than 2500.

Tire spin is good, to a point. You just have to find that point.
This^ ive had alot more success launching 2500-3k letting the tires get some spin and just slamming gears right before the limiter

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:00 am
by chew*
Launch rpm is debatable due to track/street conditions, tire size, tire quality, gear ratio, suspension. What works for one car at one track/street doesn't necessarily work for another.

Trial and error and practice, lots of it and pay close attention to your 60 ft times, don't be afraid to play with suspension either,it can make all the difference in the world.....stock up on trannies.

Average rebuilt trans is good for 120 launches at 2500 or higher at near stock power levels and decreases expontentially with mods at least due to my personal research and experiences......syncros start failing shortly thereafter providing your power shifting and nearly bouncing off limiter, you can get the rpms up damn near close to 6700 on tach without hitting it on non rt pcms and roughly 6900 with rt's. *disclaimer not all tach and or computers are identical ;)*

A 3" catback with a header and downpipe with no cat will give you some really decent acelleration on an otherwise stock engine but daily driving will have a flatspot between 2000-3000 rpms and if you get some bad gas it will backfire and run like crap below 3000 rpms....

Bad gas explains itself, as far as the under 3000 issue its related to exhaust temps, colder air is (denser) harder to push out, when you get it up over 3000 rpms there is enough heat and flow to nullify this issue.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:26 am
by racer12306
Launch RPM is debatable, but the fact that you want to spin to get the engine up into it's power band is not. These engines wake up at about 4500rpm so you want to get it above that as quickly as possible.


3" exhaust on a stock engine is way too big. The stock piping is much more appropriate.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:28 pm
by chris1211
Id just open it up to the 2.25 the whole piping is 2.25 until the end by the muffler get a after market muffler and have them put some piping between it to make it all 2.25 youll see morr high end

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:02 pm
by occasional demons
As far as advice to OP...
Last Visited: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:21 pm


I doubt that last little bit of 2" at the axle back is going to make any difference on a basically stock set up. The muffler outlet is 1.875" BTW.

Mine had no issues bouncing the rev limiter with the oem exhaust (early '01 two inch from cat back) The exhaust as is - late '01 and up is plenty sufficient for most bolt-ons . A muffler may give you some gains, but it is more of an audio accessory in most cases.

I didn't really see any earth shattering change from going to 2.25 mandrel bent from the cat to the muffler.

Sounds better tho. :D

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:42 pm
by chipdogg
chew* wrote:Average rebuilt trans is good for 120 launches at 2500 or higher at near stock power levels and decreases expontentially with mods at least due to my personal research and experiences......syncros start failing shortly thereafter providing your power shifting and nearly bouncing off limiter, you can get the rpms up damn near close to 6700 on tach without hitting it on non rt pcms and roughly 6900 with rt's. *disclaimer not all tach and or computers are identical ;)
WTF are you smoking? How many Neon transmissions have you gone through? A properly rebuilt and modified one will last well over 120 launches on the Neons that 99% of people have on here. Especially with this guy's stock Neon.

I rarely see worn fibrides on synchronizers unless there are other problems in the trans. Running low/improper oil and not changing it are the main reasons that they wear out. That and clogged oiling holes but that usually takes out the bearings under the gears 1st.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:06 pm
by chew*
chipdogg wrote:
chew* wrote:Average rebuilt trans is good for 120 launches at 2500 or higher at near stock power levels and decreases expontentially with mods at least due to my personal research and experiences......syncros start failing shortly thereafter providing your power shifting and nearly bouncing off limiter, you can get the rpms up damn near close to 6700 on tach without hitting it on non rt pcms and roughly 6900 with rt's. *disclaimer not all tach and or computers are identical ;)
WTF are you smoking? How many Neon transmissions have you gone through? A properly rebuilt and modified one will last well over 120 launches on the Neons that 99% of people have on here. Especially with this guy's stock Neon.

I rarely see worn fibrides on synchronizers unless there are other problems in the trans. Running low/improper oil and not changing it are the main reasons that they wear out. That and clogged oiling holes but that usually takes out the bearings under the gears 1st.
I never mentioned modified, just rebuilt. As for how many? I think 4 or 5 so far........about to pull rebuilt one out after 150 races the last 30 which have required pounding third into gear.

This one was experimental using a moly grade oil with a zinc additive, problem is its so slick that I believe it caused issues with the fiber disc at tail end of input shaft. Will know more when we overhaul it.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:29 pm
by chipdogg
chew* wrote: the fiber disc at tail end of input shaft.
The reverse brake? Upgrade to the brass version.

Where are you getting your parts? I rebuild T-350's and have access to OEM parts for much cheaper than dealerships have them.

As for only rebuilding them, why wouldn't you modify them to work better? Chamfer/tear drop the oiling holes, upgrade to the 2nd gen style shift keys, use the 2nd gen rear cover (thicker and better designed troughs to direct oil down both shafts).

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:11 pm
by chew*
chipdogg wrote:
chew* wrote: the fiber disc at tail end of input shaft.
The reverse brake? Upgrade to the brass version.

Where are you getting your parts? I rebuild T-350's and have access to OEM parts for much cheaper than dealerships have them.

As for only rebuilding them, why wouldn't you modify them to work better? Chamfer/tear drop the oiling holes, upgrade to the 2nd gen style shift keys, use the 2nd gen rear cover (thicker and better designed troughs to direct oil down both shafts).
Actually was going to contact you anyway, been buying parts at portland transmission, they keep telling me mid shaft isn't serviceable :roll:

I will be in touch soon, need to overhaul a few of them.

Still experimenting with fluids and checking wear, definitely would not reccomend anything I am using however as its highly experimental.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:53 pm
by chipdogg
The output shaft isn't serviceable. Chrysler only sells it as an assembly and the FSM strongly recommends not taking it apart.

But I can get parts for it. 1-2 synchronizer assembly, fibrides, etc. I built a fixture to help press it apart. Need a 20+ ton press.

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:16 am
by chew*
chipdogg wrote:The output shaft isn't serviceable. Chrysler only sells it as an assembly and the FSM strongly recommends not taking it apart.

But I can get parts for it. 1-2 synchronizer assembly, fibrides, etc. I built a fixture to help press it apart. Need a 20+ ton press.
I have a 50 ton OTC :) or i could send you shaft. I need to help mike car audioholic redo his trans to, I did something to help it along but i fear it was partially damaged already. I had mentioned getting in touch with you to him to source some parts. I don't think the guy who installed his lsd shimmed it right or checked turning torque. my first guess was they installed speedo gear backwards twice....

This latest trans should be interesting to inspect, if sitting idle for any length of time shifting gets a tad sticky, launch it in one race and your preety screwed to get in any gear till you shut it off and start it a few times. If i had to guess the spiral inside input shaft is worn among a few other issues, possibly wore out t350 shift fork also ( not an easy task ). Curious what the moly hurt/helped also.

Probably should discuss this in drivetrain section though :)