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Hi! New Girl With An SXT

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:02 pm
by neongirl87
I bought a 2003 neon sxt, and need help to tune it up!

I have an 1800 budget, here is how i kind of split the money, what i need is a list of parts that yall recommend to make this happen =)

Battery- 150$
Tires- 400$
Tune Up- 500$ (please give list of things i would need, spark plugs (brand etc...)
Struts/Springs- 500$
Brakes/Rotors- 300$

I would really appreciate the help. ill post pics of the car tomorrow =)

any tips or recommendatios are welcome like i said

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:16 pm
by C1DoG
Welcome to 2GN. :hello1:

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:23 pm
by Midnight_Rider
:hello2:

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:36 pm
by neongirl87
:love2:

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:38 pm
by Midnight_Rider
Where are you located? Looking forward to the pics. :thumbup:

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:40 pm
by neongirl87
texas =)

i want to start ordering asap. help =(

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:53 pm
by A@ron
if you have an advance auto parts near you search for online coupon codes. I got 40% off of a >$100 purchase this weekend and scored a battery for like $72 after core exchange. You could use coupon codes to get things like the battery, plugs, wires, etc for well under your budget.

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:01 pm
by neongirl87
i heard rockauto is good, btw i think my car is sohc

need

battery
tires
spark plugs (heard bosche is good?)
air filter (kn? maybe an air intake?)
fuel filter
springs
shock/strut (i want a smooth ride and i saw these, they are monroe for 114, do yall recommend those all in 1 package?)
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carco ... type,15174
rotors
brake setup

also anything i should change out that i should get out the way while i am getting all this done? bushings, stabalizer bar links? etc..... please any specifics would be great =)

i saw this , but don't know what this means?

"the car’s points and condenser should also be changed every six months in case you have an older vehicle type"

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:21 pm
by thomas_w
Welcome to the forum!

I would probably spend a little more on tires and struts than your initial budget. The other items can run you less. The parts for the front brakes can be had for as low as $100. Similar for the rear. For spark plugs people usually recommend the cheap Champion copper ones that were originally on the car. I put them on not too long ago and they seem to work fine. You can replace the plug wires depending on how old yours are. I just replaced mine as I was getting a misfire on one of the cylinders. I used the Bosch Premium wires from Autozone.

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:38 pm
by neongirl87
thanks!

so how much more am i expecting to pay to get everything i need? since my budget is wrong

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:49 pm
by thomas_w
I would think you can stay pretty close to your initial budget if you shop around and do the work yourself. But someone with more experience than me may want to chime in.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:00 am
by neongirl87
i'm still new to all this car stuff, just been reading the car manual alot =( don't mean to bug

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:03 am
by Midnight_Rider
neongirl87 wrote:...don't mean to bug
Everyone had to start somewhere so you're good. :thumbup:

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:47 am
by FAC3L3SS
What's the mileage on the car? I'd take a solid chunk and have the timing belt, tensioner, and water pump done. Otherwise that'll be a great expense in a few years you wish you'd done now.

As far as struts and springs, by that time you'll be have been told to lower it and asked how to a million times, look for a set of used lowering springs that will give a mild drop and not ride harsh. Then get some new struts or Tokicos and call that a day.

Tires are tires. Shop around a bit. I may be biased but I've gotten name-brand (although not American) tires for well under $300. Knowing someone who can mount and balance helps a ton, too.

There are some plugs that people here swear by. I forget what they are, but I'm sure someone will post it up. You are a girl, after all.

Take some time and money to just clean the car up. Makes a world of difference when your car is clean and feels like a $50k car. Thoroughly vacuum, clean the headliner, dash, door panels, seats, etc. . . Get a nice exterior wash, clean the underbody, get a small buffing pad and clean up some larger imperfections. Stock bodies look fantastic if they're simply clean.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:26 am
by r/tguy02
welcome :thumbup: you'll have to post some pics when you get a chance.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:51 pm
by racer12306
Another piece of info, cars haven't come with points in at least 35 years. So wherever you read that, stop reading there because they aren't relevant.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:33 pm
by sidepipe87
As for spark plugs... go with the cheapy Champion Coppers. I don't know the part number off hand but they're like $2 each and the car likes them.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:49 pm
by neongirl87
FAC3L3SS wrote:What's the mileage on the car? I'd take a solid chunk and have the timing belt, tensioner, and water pump done. Otherwise that'll be a great expense in a few years you wish you'd done now.

As far as struts and springs, by that time you'll be have been told to lower it and asked how to a million times, look for a set of used lowering springs that will give a mild drop and not ride harsh. Then get some new struts or Tokicos and call that a day.

Tires are tires. Shop around a bit. I may be biased but I've gotten name-brand (although not American) tires for well under $300. Knowing someone who can mount and balance helps a ton, too.

There are some plugs that people here swear by. I forget what they are, but I'm sure someone will post it up. You are a girl, after all.

Take some time and money to just clean the car up. Makes a world of difference when your car is clean and feels like a $50k car. Thoroughly vacuum, clean the headliner, dash, door panels, seats, etc. . . Get a nice exterior wash, clean the underbody, get a small buffing pad and clean up some larger imperfections. Stock bodies look fantastic if they're simply clean.
Thank You Guys!!! For Being So Welcoming And Helpful

Yeah, I'm posting from my phone and it's not letting me post pics, but i will try to post some from my laptop today!

the car has 95k miles on it, 2003 sxt, red/maroon color

any more help would be appreciated!!

OH! and what about sway bars? for handling? maybe i can fit it in with my budget?

so many things i want to do, and i just got it =)

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:00 pm
by r/tguy02
for swaybars you want the srt front and the r/t rear, thats the cheap route without going to aftermarket rear swaybars.

as for pics you have to host them on photobucket or something similar then post the direct links to the pics on here. if you have a smartphone photobucket has an app that works pretty well.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:38 pm
by A@ron
Yeah if the car has 95k and it hasn't had the timing belt/tensioner/water pump replaced yet do that... very important.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:59 pm
by sidepipe87
r/tguy02 wrote:for swaybars you want the srt front and the r/t rear, thats the cheap route without going to aftermarket rear swaybars.
Keep in mind since it's an 03 there will be no rear swaybar mounts on the stock struts.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:46 pm
by Spanky
Welcome to 2gn. Look around the site and do what you like to your car. Rockauto is a great place for getting parts for a good price. This is a great resource for help and if you need any just ask. No question is a dumb one and always remember to have fun.

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:41 pm
by neongirl87
Image

sorry for the crappy night pic, but here she is =)

again, thanks for the help guys, going to start ordering some parts now :twisted:

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:02 am
by r/tguy02
sidepipe87 wrote:
r/tguy02 wrote:for swaybars you want the srt front and the r/t rear, thats the cheap route without going to aftermarket rear swaybars.
Keep in mind since it's an 03 there will be no rear swaybar mounts on the stock struts.
she is replacing the struts so its a moot point, aftermarket ones typically have the tabs

she will need the brackets though for the body mounting points so thats something to be aware of.

neongirl
car looks to be in good shape, def needs lowered :)

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:44 am
by sidepipe87
Good point... I skimmed through, didn't see she was getting new struts.

Since you're at 95k... I'd be looking into getting a timing kit as soon as possible. The Gates kit can be had for about $100 on eBay.

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:26 am
by neongirl87
ok, so here is my list, and looking at the prices on rockauto, i'm at 1800 already =(

tensioner/pulley/belt
rotor/brake pad/calipers
radiator (i don't know if it needs 1 yet but figured might as well?)
alternator (again, this is a maybe)
thermostat
water pump
battery
oxygen sensor
cold air intake (need help finding a k&n kit that fits)
spark plug wires/plugs
strut/coil/strut mounts
tires (best smooth and quiet ride?)

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:47 am
by Midnight_Rider
neongirl87 wrote:cold air intake (need help finding a k&n kit that fits)
http://www.knfilters.com/search/appsear ... ngine=2.0L

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:21 am
by 05MoparSRT4
why not change the battery and then put a load test on the battery to see if the Alternator is charging? Instead of spending money on a new one. Welcome by the way!

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:58 am
by r/tguy02
dont replace the calipers unless its leaking or is dragging (not releasing properly)

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:14 am
by sidepipe87
My suggestions, if you're trying to save money and do only what you NEED to do...


tensioner/pulley/belt/water pump - skip tensioner and pulley. Your 03 ones will be fine EDIT - noobs, replace these items too
rotor/brake pad/calipers - skip calipers
radiator (i don't know if it needs 1 yet but figured might as well?) - probably not needed, buy an external oil cooler to bypass the stock one in the radiator and you wont need to worry about the radiator failure killing your transmission
alternator (again, this is a maybe) - don't replace unless its really bad
thermostat
battery -Have it tested. if its not broken, don't fix it.
oxygen sensor - has it/they failed? if not, don't replace
cold air intake (need help finding a k&n kit that fits) - won't gain much, just overpriced. remove baffling in fender and you will see about the same gains without fear of hydrolock
spark plug wires/plugs
strut/coil/strut mounts - only replace coils if lowering. Otherwise look into new top hats at least for the rear. They wear out then clunk
tires (best smooth and quiet ride?)

Also, I love Rock Auto but sometimes shipping kills the deal, especially when parts are coming from multiple warehouses... which they basically always do. Shop around on all parts locally, Rock Auto, eBay, and Amazon see who has the best prices and split the order up if you have to. If something requires a core be returned (calipers, alternator, etc) buy locally as Rock Auto you will have to pay shipping to send it back. They always have a 5% discount code too so make sure you use that