Hello Neon drivers!

Welcome to 2GN.org... Tell us a little bit about yourself and your car if you'd like.
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04rebel
2GN Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 6:38 am

Hello Neon drivers!

Post by 04rebel » Thu May 09, 2019 7:00 am

Have been a long time owners of various Dodge products and a DIY'er for 98% of all maint. and repair work. A retired 30+ year auto tech, that started out with air cooled VW's and went on to working with all makes(even an old Citroen many years ago). My "stable" of cars for my family currently tallies at an 04 Chry. T&C minivan, a 98 Dodge Avenger, and the reason I'm here an 04 base Neon.
Right now I've a serious dilemma and short of time to decide on how to proceed. PLEASE be kind to this Former USMC vet and guide me to the best page for info on what to do with a snapped TIMING BELT that broke during an IDLING period. I know it is listed as an interference motor, but have heard that some have "gotten lucky" and were able to "get away" without pulling the head.
ANY RETURN greetings and tips on just where to post up here for a GOOD info discussion is greatly appreciated. :)

Midnight_Rider
2014 Platinum Contributor
Posts: 8043
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:49 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: Hello Neon drivers!

Post by Midnight_Rider » Thu May 09, 2019 10:30 am

Welcome to 2gn!
Official "I'm Going To Drive My Neon 'til It Dies" Club #10

occasional demons
Junior Admin
Posts: 19357
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:14 pm
Location: Ashland Ohio

Re: Hello Neon drivers!

Post by occasional demons » Thu May 09, 2019 12:21 pm

RPM doesn't really matter. If damage is happening, it's happening. It's just a matter of how many times the piston hits the valve(s) after the first hit.

The simplest way to see if you need to pull the head, is to remove the valve cover, then pull the rocker arm assy's, and lay a straight edge across the tops of the valves. If they are all even, you might be lucky. If there are some that do not come all the way up, the valves have been hit.

If they all appear even, then you could try just replacing the timing components, including the water pump (could be what snapped it), and see how it runs. I would do a compression check, after putting the belt on, just to see if any of the numbers are excessively low, before running it. You can do that before installing the covers and crank balancer pulley.
Bill
dblsg wrote:ya'll a bunch of post whores
epic

2001 Neon ES MTX with '02 R/T PCM
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04rebel
2GN Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 6:38 am

Re: Hello Neon drivers!

Post by 04rebel » Thu May 09, 2019 2:38 pm

Thanks for the FAST welcome Member M.R. and O.D.(sorry for the abbreviations)! Yes while rounding up tow dolly and such to move the little car, I thought about the same "quick check" of removing the V.C. and cam"train" , same as you describe. It's been some time since I've "played" with a broken belt issue, and my mind is taking a little more time to formulate an "attack" plan for such occasions! It will sure be better than just yanking the head!
Unfortunately if it does prove to be that deep, we will probably scrap the car, Western NY rust gremlins are not kind and this past winter really bit hard on the outer rockers and lower doors. Compared to buying a newer ride, we don't have that much money tied up in this ride(a lot of time for all the other maint. we given it)...But I've had the time to do all that in the past. This hits just when he needs to count on the car for semester finals and new summer job starting the end of the month that will put 100 miles a day on whatever he is driving. Yes we kind of live out in the "sticks"!

occasional demons
Junior Admin
Posts: 19357
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:14 pm
Location: Ashland Ohio

Re: Hello Neon drivers!

Post by occasional demons » Thu May 09, 2019 2:47 pm

Unfortunately the 2gn neons tend to rot out badly in the salt belt. You'll want to check the crossmember for the front suspension, as well as the lower control arms, as they can rot pretty bad too. The 2003 through 2005 crossmembers aren't as bad, but they are not immune to rusting out. I have seen a few LCA's rotted pretty badly too.

I can totally understand not wanting to throw a few hundred at it, or going to the trouble of finding a decent used head for cheap, and still spending $200 for a set of head bolts, a head, valve cover, exhaust gasket intake o rings, and a timing kit. Plus the labor involved....

All for a car that probably has an insurance value of less than $800.
Bill
dblsg wrote:ya'll a bunch of post whores
epic

2001 Neon ES MTX with '02 R/T PCM
Help support 2GN!

04rebel
2GN Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 6:38 am

Re: Hello Neon drivers!

Post by 04rebel » Thu May 09, 2019 3:03 pm

Parts have been cheap and easy to get thru rockauto, and we have put many into this ride. It doesn't owe us anything for the service it has given. Was a Dad/son fixer upper(used trans, radiator, heater core brakes and struts, front end LCA's, outer tie rod ends and tires). ALL in, I could not find a better/newer ride for my son for the money we have in this little car. DIYing it has made this a very cost effective ride! Is just too bad that this happened before planned TB job was going to do Memorial weekend. Son's first car and given 3 good years use, and we had talked about the need to do the TB...Guess I jinxed myself!

04rebel
2GN Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 6:38 am

Re: Hello Neon drivers!

Post by 04rebel » Fri May 10, 2019 6:32 pm

WAS going to make the 30 mile drive to my parent's garage and start "opening up" things on the car today...
But after getting a dead vehicle up on the tow dolly alone and then towing it that trip last evening and unloading and pushing into the nice garage and making the trip back home(8:30pm), I was totally worn out! Then the rains(1+ inches) came during the late night till noon, and had my body aching all the more! Sat. is out due to family gathering, so will start Sunday afternoon on the "poor little car". Hopefully the weatherman will be wrong as they say high temps in the mid 40*f range for the next week, which doesn't help my old back any! At least I've had today and tomorrow to "rest up"!
Only tougher job I've done with this Neon was doing the heater core on it when we first got it, I'm hoping good fortune will smile on me when I get the VC off!...Stay tuned!

04rebel
2GN Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 6:38 am

Re: Hello Neon drivers!

Post by 04rebel » Tue May 14, 2019 3:38 pm

After a totally CRAZY weekend(mothers day), I finally got over to work with the "poor little car" yesterday. Got things apart AND finally got LUCKY! BELT KIT is in and while still on jack gave a quick start up...fired right off totally smooth with NO HICCUPS! Only problem I now have to bolting all back together is the outer timing cover is destroyed at the crank pulley area and I must find one FAST! I can order from a few online sites (not sure if posting names is allowed), but really hate the idea of waiting 7 - 10 days for the part to come in! :) ;)
BTW: Looked like all original stuff, but no water pump or tensioner troubles detected...NEW parts went in with new belt anyway!

04rebel
2GN Member
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 6:38 am

Re: Hello Neon drivers!

Post by 04rebel » Tue May 21, 2019 3:09 pm

Seeing that this thread has garnered more views than my other....
SUCCESS!! Got all "buttoned up" and rolling down the roadways this past Thursday after local(somewhat) Dealer got my cover in regular overnight part shipment (was there at 9:00 am when they opened to pick it up). The "HAPPY little car" has had 400 miles put on it already and running sweetly! Now to get it thru annual NY State Inspection before the end of the month!

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