Cylinder head upgrade questions

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jacoblindsay
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Cylinder head upgrade questions

Post by jacoblindsay » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:26 pm

I bought a cylinder head to go on my 02 neon and want to get it decked .030 and do a port and polish. I also wanted to put a crane 12 in with all the necessary springs and such but remember the whole electronics aspect to the upgrade. Do I have to mess with the PCM to make these upgrades worth it? If so what PCM can I use, I do not want to do a standalone I don't have the experience for that. I have read that people will put an r/t pcm in but is that all or are they messing with other things. I'm use to working on carburetored engines so the computer part of builds confuse me.

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Re: Cylinder head upgrade questions

Post by occasional demons » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:55 pm

The stock PCM will handle those upgrades without issue. A better cam than the 12 would be the Comp Cams 400. The 12 isn't much bigger than the 2001 Magnum cam.

The 400 is the biggest cam that the stock PCM will have zero issues with.

If you are looking for a noticeable seat of the pants feel in power, the 400 is going to deliver.

A 12 will give you some power, and not kill your fuel economy too badly. I imagine the 400 will probably dent it a little.

If the head is just the standard issue head, and not the Magnum, it is still going to be the limiting factor, even with the 400, and ported. Unless you have a lot of porting experience, you'll not gain a ton of power with the standard head, and never have the flow of the Magnum exhaust ports. They are large enough you would compromise the integrity of the standard head trying to port it that large.

The intake side is basically the same, it's the exhaust ports that are larger in the Magnum head.

The only head that is able to possibly outflow the Magnum head, stock to stock, is the DOHC head. That used to be the big debate back in the day.

Regardless of whether one was better or not, the DOHC would win out for cam options, and the Magnum for simplicity. But overall, the DOHC has a better valve train for higher rpm use.
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jacoblindsay
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Re: Cylinder head upgrade questions

Post by jacoblindsay » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:52 am

I am honestly so glad I don't have to swap the pcm :D I might just go with the comp 400 cam it seems like they are more available for better prices. This car is my daily driver so I am really not that concerned about getting all the horsepower I can out of the head yet. I have been porting and polishing for awhile now so I'll see what I can do. I have read that people will take their stock PCMs to get blueprinted. What is this and what benefit does it give?

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JeremyJ
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Re: Cylinder head upgrade questions

Post by JeremyJ » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:54 pm

I ported a Magnum head and shaved .030 off of it. The car ran great with this setup, without messing with the computer.

As for blueprinting a PCM... I've never heard of that.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: Cylinder head upgrade questions

Post by occasional demons » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:55 am

Not sure what you would blueprint. They are all programmed the exact same way for a given application. It's not like there are variable tolerances in that.

The was Syked Tuning that would load a performance program into them, but he is in the middle of a huge lawsuit right now, and that option is very likely a thing of the past. IF you can snag one from Modern Performance that matches an '02, with whichever transaxle you have, that would be your only hope for plug and play. But if it craps out, don't expect it to be repaired, unless someone else picks up the torch.

FWIW, 2001 and 2002 MTX PCM's are 100% interchangeable. If you are using an automatic, those are year specific, due to the 2001 being hydraulically shifted, and the 2002 being electronic.
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jacoblindsay
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Re: Cylinder head upgrade questions

Post by jacoblindsay » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:37 am

So my head passed inspection with just a few leaky valves that will be dealt with after I port and polish. I did have a question however with the comp 400 cam. What springs and retainers should go with that? I would imagine stiffer springs are required but I haven’t seen any companies really recommending them. Anybody know? Also does anyone know if there are better looking/preforming valve covers out there?

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JeremyJ
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Re: Cylinder head upgrade questions

Post by JeremyJ » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:11 pm

Stiffer springs would be good to run with that cam. Crane makes good springs. Don't worry about the retainers; just reuse your stock ones. You can get everything at Modern Performance.

As for the valve cover, the only other variant is the metal valve cover that came on the Magnum (R/T and ACR) motors. Those can be powder coated.
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Re: Cylinder head upgrade questions

Post by INVUJerry » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:20 am

If you can find a set, stock magnum springs would work great with that setup.

For what it’s worth, you can currently buy a programmer for that car, and there are plenty of people on Facebook that can either make a tune for you, or help you along to do it yourself.

With the comp 400 cam I’d recommend getting a magnum intake manifold as well as a header of some type. It’s not necessary but will certainly help you with gains.
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