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My First Car

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:52 am
by BRsxt
Well, we can start off by saying I'm a huge Neon fan and been around them for most of my childhood (I'd say since I was a kid but I am a kid lol) but this was not my first choice of car in all honesty... I am big into 1st gen's and wanted a DOHC 5spd/2dr something terrible. But I got it for so cheap it would have been dumb to pass this up. I got it back in December (the 26th I believe!) and haven't driven it much at all since. Maybe 5 miles. After working all summer to buy a bike I didn't really think about purchasing a car till spring, but for $300, I couldn't pass it up. It's an 02 ATX clean title car. I got it so cheap because the kid wanted a truck really bad to start scrapping. He took it to Firestone 5 days before I came to buy it and they said it needed struts, swaybar endlinks, and a outer tie rod end. I told myself for $300... I figured it would be worth it no matter which way I looked at it but I wouldn't pay a dollar more. So I talked him down and bought the car. Haha, the car was pretty ricey IMO whenever I first got it there's no doubt. Here's a few pics of it...
3/9/14-Coilovers came, MSD wires on, R/t rear seats in. Possibly SRT wheels..
3/22/14-NGK's in, motor mount replaced, outer tie rod end bought, pointless stereo wiring out, ordered AEM CAI w/ K&N filter, and I finally drove it since I brought it home!
3/23/14- Got wheels then tires! Both were good deals. :D


First night I got it....



I did some cleaning up and "de-ricing" on the next 'nice' day we had...

Peeled off all the stickers and ripped out the "mesh grill". Along with the white painted hood scoop insert.

Took off the smoked tail light covers.

Took out the seats and really tried to clean it up inside...

The first thing I really wanted to purchase was a wing of any kind due to the fact the trunk had holes in it... So I got a SRT wing for $50

Liking the 03-05 rear end a lot more I bought a brand new Mopar Lip and a R/t cluster for $80 shipped. (Which I'm not sure if I'll use the cluster. I put it in but i'm not driving it right now.)


I bought this set of MSD wires off another buddy of mine for $7.

*Edit 3/9/14- Taking advantage of it being bearable outside I popped the MSD's on. (Can't wait to 2.4 this thing... it's so slow.)

I then got 1st Gen R/t seats for a steal. Fairly clean and pretty good shape. My seats were trashed. I got the whole set for $20 thanks to having best friend 1st gen guys. :D

*Edit 3/9/14- Finally got my rears in the other day as well!

Please excuse my ear!

The rear struts were blown so I was going to just replace all 4, it ended up being close enough on $$ to go Racelands as it was OEM's or kyb's/Eibach's so for adjustable height and I know a better ride quality I ordered coilovers on the 27th of last month. $431 shipped. (Which should be here tomorrow!) Plus my dad said he would give me his front and rear SRT sways bars with poly bushings for free if I wanted them for my car.. Thanks Dad!! $0 lol (He put Hotchkis bars on his SRT4)

*Edit 3/9/14- Raceland's showed up! :lol:



*Update 5/17 Coils on* -

Last week I ended up taking advantage of a deal the local AutoZone had on Castrol's part synthetic with K&N filter for $16 off. And the car is in need of an oil change so score!

Then over the weekend I drove to Pittsburgh and got new interior plastics including front and rear sills, rear door panels, kick panels, steering column cover, center console, and whatever you wanna call those rear plastic pieces on each side of the back seat.

Also got a SRT-4 decklid which was needed being I found out my trunks 3rd brake light tabs were broke. :roll: Got all the interior bits and deck lid for $65.

I then bought a BUX grille of DODGETHIS for $80 shipped...


New wheel. :)

* Edit 3/22/14- Went out and replaced the Champions (probably had 100k on them lol) with new NGK's that actually were in the glove box whenever I bought it. Haha, free (good) plugs FTW. :)

Replaced the top motor mount... Thank goodness!

I actually drove it last Friday! (just up town to deposit a check about 1 mile each way.. Lol) Had to take a few pics!


*Edit- 3/23/14
Here's the wheels I got... Inovit Tuning Torque's 17x7 et42. Paid $200 for the set, they are pretty clean too. I guess $750 new so I'm pretty happy.

Here's the tires I got today Continental ContiProContact SSR 91H 225/45R17's.. They are $868 for the set new and I only paid $160 for them delivered. So I'm pretty happy with that too.

Getting ready for a fun weekend awhile back!

Tail lights & Exhaust going on my car!

05 SXT Bumper with Silver Mopar lip :)

New headlights. Black DEPO's

New Info-
Should be picking up the 03-05 rear bumper with a Mopar Lip mounted next weekend. :D I swapped in all the new plastics other than kick panels, steering column cover, and center console. Finally got wheels, waiting for my SRT steering wheel still. :D

Long term/Future Plans-
I'm trying to find some black DEPO headlights, i'm not a big fan of the Halo style. Looking for Mopar or R/t side skirts and a front lip of some kind and then cosmetics should be done other than paint. The car is a work in progress and I have a long way to go before I'll be happy with it but I enjoy wrenching on cars so I guess I'll make this my money pit. Lol, future plans are to 2.4 swap it & PT 3.94 .72 HD it. It needed suspension stuff first so I figured I might as well do the (cheap) interior and exterior stuff now as well. Thanks for reading & I'll continue to update it as I go along. I think I have decided that all the non body color stuff will just get painted body color instead of doing plastidip.[/url]

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:29 am
Very clean! Get some black housing headlights and it'll already be 9000x better.

$300 is a steal. I got mine for $600 and the trans was blown. THEN it needed struts and bushings, etc. . . Your hood alone would fetch $300 lol.

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:51 am
by Ramroid
What i want to know is where you found the rear

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:54 am
by sidepipe87
Welcome to the forum, Colton. Now put that interior and trunk lid to good use :)

Adam - do you still have that graphite sxt rear bumper in your shed... You could probably bring it down here at the end of the month to make a sale if you're interested... :lol:

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:56 am
by r/tguy02
yay, finally a project log colt :rofl:

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:01 pm
by ThatKevin
I wish I had as good taste as you when I was younger :shock:

Really glad to see you cleaning up the car and making it less... 16y/o owner -ish LOL too bad it's auto :(

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:28 pm
by blueneo03
nice buy definitely a score with that hood.

Im down to see what all you get done i think a 2.4 swap would be a nice upgrade are you wanting the turbo or n/a?

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:22 pm
by BRsxt
FAC3L3SS- I completely agree... It will be one of my next purchases. I thought that too. Sell the hood for $300 and headlights for $40 and I could take it to the scrapyard and profit $$. Haha, so im happy. :lol:

Ramroid- A Neon Facebook page. It's where I find a lot of this stuff.

sidepipe87- Sure will man. So glad you found me this dude with the rear bumper... I've been really wanting one for a while now. Thanks man.

r/tguy02- I know. Haha, could you explain to me sig and avatar pics? I can't seem to get it to work & I don't see anywhere explaining it. Though I'm sure it's somewhere... (Text or IM would be fine.)

ThatKevin- Haha, yeah I think I got the ricer blood out of me from playing need for speed on gamecube & the original Xbox. Lol, it's very upsetting it's not a 5spd. :facepalm2: My dad taught me how to drive when I was 12 in the SRT & all my Neon friends let me drive their cars (which are 5spds) So I find autotragics very boring. Haha, thanks though man. Really trying to transform this car.

blueneo03- Thanks blue. I really hope to 2.4 / 5spd swap this thing. For reliability and such it'll be the NA for now. Plus idk how my parents would feel. Haha, I was actually gonna trade my bike and some cash for a SRT4 in December but my parents thought it wouldnt be the best for a first car. :banghead: I worked all summer to save that money, 100% by myself not a single dollar of theirs, and then they won't let me get it. Was very upsetting but oh well!

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:40 pm
by chip0wa
Wow you stole that car!!! Nice job so far

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:09 am
by redneckmoparman
i like the headlight design and im sure they put out a lot better light than stockers so why not take them apart and just paint the inside black so its not the horrid cheap looking chrome? and maybe plastidip the wheels so theyre not chrome and silver mismatched lol looks great though cant see what you get it looking like by the end of summer!

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:36 am
by BRsxt
chip0wa- Thanks man.

redneckmoparman- The rings burnt out on driver side (pretty typical with Halo's) so I think I'll toss em up for sale for only like $30 plus shipping because of that reason... I'm okay with black Halo's but prefer OEM's no matter what car really. & I will be getting SRT wheels this coming week. :) Or I forsure would have plastidipped em.

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:09 pm
by Null462
Can't believe you got that car for only $300.. That's awesome.

I'll eventually take the time to make my own log..

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:33 pm
by Midnight_Rider
Nice progress thus far. Car is definitely lucky to have you for an owner. :D

Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:43 pm
by quicksilvr
Nice work, doing good stuff to this car. Nice to see a 2gn get saved and modded right.