2002 R/T Built to Death

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JeremyJ
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:47 pm

JeremyJ wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:11 pm
Speaking of my wife, she's driving the Neon today and she actually complained about the short shifter. "Really stiff and too short" she says. I told her she's crazy and that she'll get used to it. So much so, that regular shifters will start to feel like stirring spaghetti.
Update. On two separate occasions now, she's admitted that my car is way more fun to drive than hers (auto '07 Mazda5). She only drove it for a couple of days, but she's already missing it just a little. Makes me proud for a couple of reasons. For one, it proves she's capable of having fun behind the wheel of a car. And two: she appreciates the Neon. She gets it. It's the same kind of pride I felt when she pulled on an Sti on the freeway, in my old SRT, with me in the car (the Sti started it).
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by ragek23 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:18 pm

:-) such a fun car to drive, which is why i don't want to switch to a newer daily yet. It doesn't take my friends long behind the wheel of my SRT to realize why i like it. Even in its mostly stock form.

2002 Neon SXT Sold
2006 EVO MR Weekend Warrior
2003 SRT 4 DD
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JeremyJ
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:36 pm

No progress lately, but I have been pricing out tires and wheels. I was originally going to get some 16x7 RPF1s, but I want more width. Since no one makes an affordable, lightweight 16x8, I think I'm going to go with a 17x8 RPF1. The 17s are only a pound and a half to two pounds heavier and the extra width is what I'm looking for. The stock rims are 16x6 and weigh about 19 lbs. The 17x8 RPF1 weighs 15.5 lbs. With 235x40s, the sidewall is almost identical in thickness to the stock tires, but it will give me 1.6 inches more width and the speedo will only be off by two MPH at 70. I can live with that. When I swap in the SRT drivetrain, I can go up to a 245 or 255 with more sidewall and the speedo will be really close. I think the overall package might weigh an extra pound or two over the stock setup because of the extra tire weight, but traction will be great and the light wheels will minimize the gain.

For tires, I really want Dunlop Direzza ZIIs, but they're over $200 each and that's not in my budget. I think I'm going with Yokohama S.Drives. They're affordable, have decent reviews, and I can get them locally for a good deal.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:24 pm

I finally got my shop vac working and the weather's been nice, so I did a deep clean of the car. First wash of 2018 and the first vacuum since I bought the thing. Here are some pics of the boot delete, since I've never shown it off with the full interior.

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Just in case anyone was curious, you can indeed fit three racing buckets in the back seat.

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Granted, the center is just a base, but that's going to change in the next month or two. Let's hope I can get an actual seat in the middle.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by blueneo03 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:04 am

Looks nice and clean! I'm shocked that you can fit three seats back there! i had one that i had to do rear facing once for my niece, and it had to go in the middle or it would hit the seat backs.
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2003 neon se crashed
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jonnymopar
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by jonnymopar » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:13 am

Watch out man, having the seats facing alternating directions like you have it takes up less room. 3 seats across all facing forward might give you a problem.

Side note related to infant/toddler seats: my Neon is the only car in my whole family that has a center LATCH location. That's good stuff.
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Jon J.

2003 Neon SXT - 200k+ miles, still love it
1989 Daytona ES - 2.4L/A555 swapped

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by occasional demons » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:51 am

jonnymopar wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:13 am
Side note related to infant/toddler seats: my Neon is the only car in my whole family that has a center LATCH location. That's good stuff.
I think only '02 or '03 up cars have the Latch system. My '01 does not have it.
Edit:
Nearly every car seat and most vehicles manufactured since September 1, 2002, are required to have the LATCH system.


So it would be '03 up.

Although, my '99 has Latch on the passenger front seat.


Because Crossfire...
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by jonnymopar » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:39 am

occasional demons wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:51 am
jonnymopar wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:13 am
Side note related to infant/toddler seats: my Neon is the only car in my whole family that has a center LATCH location. That's good stuff.
I think only '02 or '03 up cars have the Latch system. My '01 does not have it.
My car is actually the oldest of 4 cars I'm referring to above. They all have the LATCH points, but only 4 (left and right). Mine is the only one with 6.
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2003 Neon SXT - 200k+ miles, still love it
1989 Daytona ES - 2.4L/A555 swapped

Official "I'm Going to Drive my Neon till it Dies" Club #148

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by occasional demons » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:48 am

They sell kits where you can add them to older cars/alternative locations.

But if the car is made in a way, where you cannot get to the other side of the sheet metal (boxed in) you may not be able to add them where you want.

The passenger Crossfire seat in my neon, has the Latch loops built into the seat. For obvious reasons, you can't attach them to a neon rear seat.

-Unless you really don't like your kids. I don't know that even the stock neon fronts would be sturdy enough. (Not that you would.) Crossfires only have Latch in the front seat, because of the car's design.
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:09 pm

jonnymopar wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:13 am
Watch out man, having the seats facing alternating directions like you have it takes up less room. 3 seats across all facing forward might give you a problem.

Side note related to infant/toddler seats: my Neon is the only car in my whole family that has a center LATCH location. That's good stuff.
By the time the middle seat needs to be flipped to forward facing, both of the others will be boosters. I'm hoping that saves some room and allows me to continue to carry all three at once. Or maybe, just maybe, I'll have a bigger car by then. My wife and I spent about an hour in Babies R Us, measuring car seats and sticking them together to get to this combo. We'll find a way to make it work.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:17 am

Leaky tail lights. A common Neon disease that has afflicted three out of my five Neons. The gaskets have been hard to come by in the past. I recently found a company that makes reproduction gaskets, and they're made out of of a much thicker, higher quality material than the factory gaskets. Less than $30 shipped. Here they are:

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I installed them yesterday and it rained last night, and will continue throughout the day today. We'll see how they work. My driver's side light still had water in it when I pulled it out, so that was definitely the culprit. Some observations about the gaskets: They're really fucking thick. They require careful alignment when installing the lights, as well as a lot of pressure on the lens itself, just to get it seated properly. I had to tighten the shit out of those plastic nuts to ensure they seated correctly. Even after all the effort, the tails protrude about a millimeter farther than with the stock gaskets. It's a minuscule amount, but I can see it up close.

The previous owner had obviously been struggling with a tail light leak for some time. They had used a combo of windshield sealant and extreme over tightening of the nuts. They had them on there so tight, that they rubbed the paint off around the lenses. Thanks to them living in a coastal town, right by the beach, the environment provided a breeding ground for rust.

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I suppose this doesn't look that bad to you Eastern guys, but it really sucks to find that much rust on the body. It's just not a common thing here, except on Fords or cars that are more than forty years old. Maybe some day I'll be able to afford the body work necessary to kill this stuff and repaint the area. For now, I threw some touch up paint on it to conceal and keep out moisture.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by occasional demons » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:32 pm

JeremyJ wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:17 am
I recently found a company that makes reproduction gaskets, and they're made out of of a much thicker, higher quality material than the factory gaskets. Less than $30 shipped.
http://stores.ebay.com/Detroit-Muscle-T ... &_nkw=neon

I believe they were posted before the loss of stuff from 2015 to now. I has saved them in my Ebay stuff.

I added the link to the Exerior PN request for tail gaskets.
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:59 pm

After a couple of rainy days and a rigorous wash, the trunk remains dry. I'd call these gaskets a success.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by blueneo03 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:54 am

I used aftermarket gaskets that looked very similar to those on my old neon.. they were a bear to get seated and tightened but once they were in they worked well for me. got them on Ebay. couldnt tell you the seller...

does the rust in the tail light stay in that area? if so you could always do some basic body work as it will be covered mostly by the taillight to repair. but if it protrudes onto the body sides... wait i guess
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2003 neon se crashed
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"Sorry you are so scared of a possible mechanical problem that you will drive an ugly transportation appliance. I'll keep living a colorful life." -some guy about a camry

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:16 am

It pokes out just a little bit above the passenger side light. Just enough that a DIY fix would be pretty noticeable.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:42 pm

Fuck. Yes. I have grip. Finally.

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I didn't want center caps, but they threw them in for free anyway. I may or may not keep them on. I had them give me black valve stems instead of the blue ones that come with the wheels. I used Muteki lug nuts. The short, open, black kind. They're lightweight, but steel. I'm not completely fond of aluminum lug nuts. I do have some rubbing in the front over bumps. I bent back the fender lips just a little, but I will have to do more to make it a permanent fix. I'm also going to add a degree of camber up front. Should put me in the clear.

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Last edited by JeremyJ on Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:49 pm

Oh, and they aren't staying silver.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by blueneo03 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:07 am

DAMN! those look good, by far one of my favorite rims on the neon.. what color you making them?
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"Sorry you are so scared of a possible mechanical problem that you will drive an ugly transportation appliance. I'll keep living a colorful life." -some guy about a camry

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:30 am

Thanks. I've wanted a set of these for years. I was originally going to make them grey, like the stock wheels. Then I decided to do something different and purchased some Volcano Red Plasti Dip and glossifier. I'm using Plasti Dip in case I end up not liking it. That way I can just peel it off. Right now, I'm just waiting for a dry weekend to paint them.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:37 am

Update on the rubbing issue. Yesterday, I raised the front end by about half an inch. Then I set the camber plates to -1 and folded over the fender lips where the tires were touching on both sides. So far, I believe the rubbing is gone. I'm going to have it aligned again. I did notice some rubbing in the rear, though. I'm going to fold over that lip a little and it should be fine. I'm probably going to put -.5 to -1 degree on the rear camber plates as well, just to be safe. I don't want to go any more than -1 on the street. I really had to rail on it, on an off-kilter downhill hairpin to get it to rub. So just putting around and hitting bumps, there isn't any contact. Folding the front fender lips caused some paint to flake off on the underside. I coated it with touch-up paint, so it should be fine. I'm not going to lie...I've been toying with the idea of fender flares for a while and this whole fitment issue has me revisiting the concept.

Early tire impressions. I was trying to choose between Sumitomo HRT-Z 2 and the Yokohama S.drives. I went with the Yokos because of the brand recognition and a recommendation from the tire guy. The price difference was only a hundred bucks. First off, these tires are loud. I immediately noticed a huge increase in road noise, as soon as I pulled out of the parking lot. Although, each corner has about a two-inch wider contact patch, so an overall extra eight inches of tire will make some noise. The grip is crazy, though. Especially on this relatively light car, with not much torque. It just grips and goes--even in the rain. I can still spin them in first, but I have to actually try. I can also accelerate around corners in the rain now, which is great. It feels like a different car. This summer should be fun.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:11 pm

New wheel color preview:
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02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:55 pm

I was hoping to have the wheels on last night, but I ran out of daylight. I think I've used four cans of dip at this point. It's intense.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:27 am

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I only got one picture of the car this weekend and it sucks. Here’s what the finished wheels look like, anyway.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by blueneo03 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:59 am

I was a little worried when you said red, but thats a nice looking color! in for full pics of the car
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2003 neon se crashed
1998 neon highline Sold
2005 neon sxtSold


"Sorry you are so scared of a possible mechanical problem that you will drive an ugly transportation appliance. I'll keep living a colorful life." -some guy about a camry

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:06 am

They came out a little darker than I was expecting and the glossifier didn't make them super shiny, but overall I like them. Another reason I used Plasti Dip instead of paint; I can always peel it off if I change my mind. I have one picture of the whole car, but it's too dark and makes the rims look straight up maroon. In person, they tie in the tail lights really well and they have a metallic sparkle. I popped the center caps off, too. I will get some sunny pictures of them in the next day or two and post them up.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:36 pm

So here they are in all their red glory. First, check out how dark they look here:

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Now add sunlight:

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They can look crazy dark if there isn't direct light on them.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by blueneo03 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:12 pm

I like it!, i think the subtle tie in to the badges and the tail lights looks real good. im not normally a fan of colored rims other than on the grayscale but these look nice and not too showy
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2003 neon se crashed
1998 neon highline Sold
2005 neon sxtSold


"Sorry you are so scared of a possible mechanical problem that you will drive an ugly transportation appliance. I'll keep living a colorful life." -some guy about a camry

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:16 pm

That’s what I was going for. Thanks.

I installed a set of reconditioned fuel injectors yesterday. The car was feeling a little sluggish from time to time, like there was hesitation under load. It was becoming more frequent, along with an occasional backfire from the intake. One of the only things I didn’t replace was the fuel system and the injectors looked pretty beat. I picked up a set of OEM Bosch injectors that had been thoroughly cleaned and reconditioned, with new o-rings, for about $45.

Install was easy and I honestly think it helped a bit. The hesitation hasn’t shown up again (yet) and I haven’t noticed anything wrong. Maybe it’s cured.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by MyNeonSaysHi » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:03 am

Damn you been working! Looks great, love the unique color combo with the wheels. But I still have a thing for the factory silver RPF1's on a ps2 :) That is one great looking R/T very clean. Miss my 01 R/T that thing was fun

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Thu May 10, 2018 11:02 am

I've been keeping my eye out for a wingless PS2 lid, but haven't found any yet. I grew impatient and just decided to pull the wing off last night. It had water slushing around in it.

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After I took these pictures, I went to O'Reilly's and picked up some plastic "bumper retainers" (AKA Christmas trees) and painted them to match the car. I pushed them into the spoiler holes with a bunch of clear silicone on them. It'll rain today, so I'm going to find out pretty quickly if I did it right. I'm still on the lookout for a clean trunk lid, but this will do for now. The paint isn't great where the spoiler was seated. I buffed it a bit with rubbing compound, but you can definitely still see where it was seated. But that's to be expected after sixteen years. As you can see from the pictures, it looks pretty good from five feet away, so whatever.

Not seeing the spoiler in the rearview mirror is so nice.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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