Motor Swap into a Sand Rail

Doing a SRT-4 Motor swap into your Neon, maybe even a 2.4... have questions about it, what you'll need or what issues you'll run into? Answers can be found in here.
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minnesotavw
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Motor Swap into a Sand Rail

Post by minnesotavw » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:48 am

I am currently working on swapping a 2.0L motor out of a 2003 Neon into my sand rail. I have the motor along with an almost complete wiring harness for the vehicle. The only thing I am missing in the harness it the wires to the doors, and to the rear speakers. The vehicle had RKE, and I am assuming the key is chipped for the security system.

As this motor is no longer going into a Neon, I will be doing a lot of cutting of the harness, and I will need to over ride a few systems. I know nothing about the neon motor, and I have a very limited knowledge of engine electronics. I have a pretty good handle on how engines work and the basics. I do have a Chrysler service manual, including wiring diagrams, for a 2004 Neon.

The first system that I will need to by pass is the security system. I plan on having a push-to-start button, so I will no longer need the key. What would be the easiest way to by pass the system? Does the ECU rely on the security system to allow the engine to run? Would it be as easy as removing the RKE module or something similar?

Will I need to bypass the speed sensor from the tranny? Or the neutral safety switch?

I will need to bypass the O2 sensor that is located in the cat, but that info should be pretty easy to find.

I know Subaru motors can be pulled from the vehicle and all that is needed to make them run in a buggy or what not is a 12V lead to the engine computer. Is this the same for the Neon?

Are there any build threads with a detailed information about stripping a Neon of all unnecessary electrical? I figure someone has had to have done this for a race application.

Here are some pictures:

The sand rail. AKA "Some Assembly Required"
Image
Image

The motor.

Image

occasional demons
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Post by occasional demons » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:43 pm

What transaxle? If you are using the ATX, there is not much you can do about the speed sensor, or the PNS switch. The PCM is looking for that input to ground the starter relay.

If you permanently connect the wiring to make it in park or neutral, the engine will not rev above ~3000 rpm. At best, you would need an (ON)-ON toggle switch, that springs back. So you could push it to (ON) to start, and let it return to ON to run.

The security (SKIM) has to be turned off in the PCM. You need someone with the right tools/knowledge to do that.

A dealer will not do it.

Or you could go with a stand alone system like Mega Squirt to get around that. All 2003 up have SKIM, regardless of options, etc.

There are a few Project Logs with race builds, but you would have to sort through them to find them.
Bill
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sidepipe87
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Post by sidepipe87 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:54 pm

I know there are a few builds as Bill mentioned. Ryan Keyser (a23dranger) recently built a custom harness for a dirt track car so he stripped all the unnecessary crap out. You may want to look up those builds or PM him for details.
PM me for your 03+ PCM SKIM/VIN flashing needs.

minnesotavw
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Post by minnesotavw » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:22 pm

occasional demons wrote:What transaxle? If you are using the ATX, there is not much you can do about the speed sensor, or the PNS switch. The PCM is looking for that input to ground the starter relay.

If you permanently connect the wiring to make it in park or neutral, the engine will not rev above ~3000 rpm. At best, you would need an (ON)-ON toggle switch, that springs back. So you could push it to (ON) to start, and let it return to ON to run.

The security (SKIM) has to be turned off in the PCM. You need someone with the right tools/knowledge to do that.

A dealer will not do it.

Or you could go with a stand alone system like Mega Squirt to get around that. All 2003 up have SKIM, regardless of options, etc.

There are a few Project Logs with race builds, but you would have to sort through them to find them.
I will be running a VW transaxle with an adapter plate. There are no electronics in the transmission to tell the shifter position. If I just need a ground to make it think that it is in park or neutral, that is an easy fix.

Thanks for the information about the SKIM. I will have to look into that.

r/tguy02
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Post by r/tguy02 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:26 pm

:thumbup: cool ride
Justin
[02 R/T sold][00 Highline sold][04 r/t scrapped][95 NYG Sport coupe][01 r/t DD]
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occasional demons
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Post by occasional demons » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:02 pm

minnesotavw wrote: I will be running a VW transaxle with an adapter plate. There are no electronics in the transmission to tell the shifter position. If I just need a ground to make it think that it is in park or neutral, that is an easy fix.

Thanks for the information about the SKIM. I will have to look into that.
I guess a better question would be is the PCM from an auto (ATX) or a manual? (MTX) From what I am gathering, it is an ATX pcm.

You are going to need an NGC MTX pcm at minimum to keep from having a lot more issues. Not having all the sensors, and their inputs/outputs that the ATX pcm is going to be looking for, will set off a multitude of codes. This part will be no different than doing an MTX swap in an ATX neon.

If it was a 2001 and older ATX PCM, there wouldn't really be much of an issue, since the only thing that would pop up is the TC lock up code. But the SBEC pcm's will not run the NGC engine.

While the SKIM can be turned off by Syked Tuning, AFAIK, the ATX controls cannot.
r/tguy02 wrote::thumbup: cool ride
Agreed. Once you get things sorted out, it should be a lot of fun. A built 2.4 in one of these would be pushing the need for wheelie bars. :lol:
Bill
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minnesotavw
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Post by minnesotavw » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:10 am

occasional demons wrote: I guess a better question would be is the PCM from an auto (ATX) or a manual? (MTX) From what I am gathering, it is an ATX pcm.

You are going to need an NGC MTX pcm at minimum to keep from having a lot more issues. Not having all the sensors, and their inputs/outputs that the ATX pcm is going to be looking for, will set off a multitude of codes. This part will be no different than doing an MTX swap in an ATX neon.

If it was a 2001 and older ATX PCM, there wouldn't really be much of an issue, since the only thing that would pop up is the TC lock up code. But the SBEC pcm's will not run the NGC engine.

While the SKIM can be turned off by Syked Tuning, AFAIK, the ATX controls cannot.
If I am not worried about codes and a CEL, do I need to worry about that speed sensor? Will the speed sensor affect the running of the engine? I guess I don't know enough about the electronics involved on these engines. I am experienced with ATV's and sleds as well as the mechanics of larger engines, so alot of this wiring is a learning experience for me.

Can I switch to an older PCM? I have done some research about the SKIM system and it seems to look like the SKIM is programmed into every PCM, but if the SKIM equipment is never connected to the PCM it is never activated. Seeing as this is a sand rail, I dont really care to have a key for it. How old of a PCM would I be able to use?


occasional demons wrote: Agreed. Once you get things sorted out, it should be a lot of fun. A built 2.4 in one of these would be pushing the need for wheelie bars. :lol:
Thanks! It should move pretty good. The motor will probably remain fairly stock for now, the transaxle was designed to handle a whopping 50HP that the original 1300cc aircooled VW motor put out.



Thanks for your help guys! Of all the forums I have been on, you guys seem to be the most helpful!

occasional demons
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Post by occasional demons » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:49 pm

2003 is the oldest PCM you can use, but unless you buy it new, or pay Kevin $50 to deactivate yours, there is no way around the SKIM.

I don't know that the transmission codes will have any effect on how the engine runs. As long as it doesn't put it in limp mode, or de rate the power output in some way, it should work.

In all I think finding a cheap used MTX PCM and having Kevin disarm the SKIM, and maybe tweaking the tune a little will get you further ahead.

A 2003 to 2004 R/T PCM will give you a little more power out of the box. (Make better use of 89 and up octane)

I do know that the ATX PCM's do de rate the power between shifts, to help the 40te live longer. So the question is, will it default to that, if it has no input from the ATX?

I do know that the VSS being unplugged disarms the top speed limiter, but not 100% sure on how it affects the engine side of the PCM on NGC. It has no effect on SBEC PCM's, except maybe the 2002 ATX's.

You will probably want to retain the OBD port, regardless, so you can check codes. With the cluster, you wouldn't need it for the basic codes, but I don't think the cluster is in your plans.
Bill
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r/tguy02
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Post by r/tguy02 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:49 pm

if it were me i'd just sell that engine harness and computer and buy myself a sbec sohc engine, 1gn harness and ecu. be done with all the bs :rockon:
Justin
[02 R/T sold][00 Highline sold][04 r/t scrapped][95 NYG Sport coupe][01 r/t DD]
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minnesotavw
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Post by minnesotavw » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:11 pm

r/tguy02 wrote:if it were me i'd just sell that engine harness and computer and buy myself a sbec sohc engine, 1gn harness and ecu. be done with all the bs :rockon:
For the price it couldn't be beat. I picked up everything for $150 and a couple cases of beer. I don't think that I would find another engine and harness for that price.

I've been doing some research on the MegaSquirt, and it looks like it might be an option to replace everything. I don't think I have the time to learn the programming though. I will be sitting in the sand dunes in 12 weeks.

r/tguy02
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Post by r/tguy02 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:30 pm

good you got a deal, but still why not sell it for a good profit and just buy a 1gn setup, you have any u pull jy around? i bet you could get everything you need for 200$. the best part of going that route is the availability of aftermarket computers. 1gn SBEC you've got mopar, AFX, Syked. for NGC you've got Syked, thats it.
Justin
[02 R/T sold][00 Highline sold][04 r/t scrapped][95 NYG Sport coupe][01 r/t DD]
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2931823

occasional demons
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Post by occasional demons » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:28 pm

An MTX PCM would get rid of any potential issues stated above. You would only need a switch for the clutch interlock. No PN rev limit stuff. No VSS issue.


But if going SBEC, may as well go 2.4. The added torque will certainly be appreciated in the sand. Getting a lower mileage 2.4 for a reasonable price may be a trick tho.

I vote just get an MTX PCM, have it de SKIM'ed, and run it for now.

This gives you a better range of 2.4's to choose from, if you wish to go that route in the future. They were in PT Cruisers through 2010. So you have the potential for lower mileage/newer engines. 2.0's were only made through 2005...

Edit:
I would use a 2004 MTX PCM if at all possible. There is something with the 2003's that they can't be hacked, and 2005 is just too damn touchy when it comes to mods. I'm sure a Syked unit would get around that, but that is going to be the $300 tune, not the $50 to turn off the SKIM.
Bill
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