2002 R/T Built to Death

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JeremyJ
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Thu May 10, 2018 5:08 pm

Here's a quick shot of my home made plugs.

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02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Neon4Life
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by Neon4Life » Thu May 10, 2018 8:02 pm

Man thats one clean 2gn rt. Keep up the good work on it.

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Fri May 11, 2018 10:51 am

Thanks, man. No plans to slow down yet.
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 May 12, 2018 11:42 pm

Very nice on the plugs. I agree! It is very nice not to have a spoiler in the rear. The SXT isn't too bad though as opposed to the giant basket handle

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Pretty productive couple of days. First, I installed a set of Prothane short end links:

Before:

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After:

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I noticed my left rear was almost a full inch lower than the right rear. The coilovers either settled unevenly, or they weren't set up well from the factory. Either way, I fixed it by raising one side half an inch and lowering the other side half an inch. Split the difference. Now the rear is level and the sway bar is stiffened and placed at a better angle.

Next, I finally recharged my K&N filter. It was filthy. I was dreading removing the front bumper to access the filter. It's just so tedious. Fortunately, once I removed the driver's side headlight, I realized I had complete access to the filter. So from now on, all I need to do is remove the headlight to clean the filter, which is so much less work than anticipated.

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02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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JeremyJ
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Mon May 21, 2018 11:02 am

Gettin' ready to rock & roll.

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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 » Wed May 23, 2018 10:52 am

I managed to roll one fender last night. The driver's front. I spent the majority of the time figuring everything out, like how the roller works and how to remove the fender liner. The actual rolling only took a few minutes. I ended up "pulling" the fender just a little bit, too. It wasn't intentional, but it has maybe a quarter inch flare to it now, which I'm not going to complain about. It's crazy subtle, but I like it. Paint did crack a little, but I think that's unavoidable; the paint is just too old not to at this point. I got it good and hot and took my time. I'm going to tackle the other front fender tonight and maybe the rears if I have time.
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 May 23, 2018 11:32 pm

So here's the fender before:

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And here it is after:

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The pictures really don't show it as well as I can see in person. It's a pretty tiny difference, but I think it's noticeable. Looking down, you can see the bulge, directly over the tire.

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Here's the underside. You can see where the paint cracked (same place on both sides) toward the front of the car, and it folded over nicely as I worked toward the rear of the car. I covered both cracky spots with some touchup paint.

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Either tomorrow or the next day, I'll tackle the rear fenders. No fender liners to deal with is a plus. They're double walled, so they're going to be a bit more tough to bend. The Eastwood tool specifically says not for use on double walled fenders, but I know plenty of people who have done it successfully. I'll just have to work more slowly and be liberal with the heat gun.
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 » Wed May 23, 2018 11:42 pm

Interesting. Not sure how much got rolled. You are right very hard to tell in the pictures. Are you rubbing anymore in the front? What made you decide to do the rears too?

Glad you posted this. I have an appt. tomorrow to have mine professionally rolled. I hope they come out well. Either that or go with a shorter tire. I chose the cheaper option.

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Thu May 24, 2018 1:07 am

It’s pretty obvious in person. The lip is folded flat in the spot I was rubbing and the fender is pulled out about a quarter of an inch. No more rubbing in the front so far.

I’m rolling the rears because they’re also rubbing. I took a corner really hot the other day and I put a groove into the left rear tire. That’s not sustainable.
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 Jun 02, 2018 11:41 pm

I finally rolled the rear fenders. Here's a good before and after for the rears:

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The actual roll is about 45 degrees, but it doesn't look that steep in the photos. I need to roll it more, apparently, because it's still rubbing around sharp corners. Kind of a bummer after all that 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 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:01 pm

I went back out and rolled the rears more aggressively. It’s folded almost flat and the fenders are pulled out about a quarter of an inch, like the fronts. I’ll go hoon it up in the next day or so to test again for rubs.
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by Neon4Life » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:54 pm

I remember having to roll fenders. Makes such a huge difference in the not rubbing part.

Nice job. It looks good.

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:42 pm

Thanks, man. I've seen so many rippled fenders from half-assed rolling jobs, that I was nervous to be aggressive with it. But it turned out pretty nice, actually. I guess that's the benefit of using the proper tools.
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 Neon4Life » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:35 am

JeremyJ wrote:Thanks, man. I've seen so many rippled fenders from half-assed rolling jobs, that I was nervous to be aggressive with it. But it turned out pretty nice, actually. I guess that's the benefit of using the proper tools.
Proper tools is always a must. Back in my 2gn days I was stupid and used some vice grips to make mine flat. It worked and I did a good job of it. But that wasn't the correct way at all. Image

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:39 am

After all four fenders have been rolled, the rubs have subsided to very mild and only under harsh circumstances. I'm still annoyed that they rub at all, though. I think the front rub is just the plastic fender liner and that's not a big deal. It's the steel rubs that concern me, but they're pretty rare at this point.

Also, I was looking into having the head machined for new valves and guides, since I've been struggling with a tick at certain RPM. The noise is driving me nuts. I talked to a guy at a machine shop and I described my symptoms. He told me that out of spec guides wouldn't make noise; they'd only leak oil that showed up as a puff of smoke out the exhaust. Bad lifters will tick during the entire RPM spectrum, whereas mine only tick from 2500 to about 3000 RPM. He thinks it's an exhaust leak. I had eliminated that idea by using gasket sealant and re-tightening the manifold twice. I never considered that it might have a crack.

Has anyone experienced a crack in the Magnum header? I'm thinking about swapping it out for a long tube header, because why not. Even if it doesn't solve the issue, I get a few extra horses out of the deal, right?
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 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:17 pm

My 2.0 went from noisy to dead quiet, after replacing the worn exhaust guides. Go figure.

It was $275 in 2007 dollars to have the guides replaced, and the valves/seats cleaned up.

At the time I kind of regretted not just getting a lower mileage head, for less money, but in hindsight, that head was still quiet after a lot of miles. I removed it after ~60,000 miles when I swapped the Magnum head, and installed it on our '96, where it got probably another 30,000 miles before we sold it. It was still quiet the day we signed the title over. So I guess I got my money's worth. At 90,000 miles, it was quieter than it was from the original factory 90,000. I had to have it rebuilt at 112,000.

Maybe the slack in the guides wasn't the direct source of the noise, but replacing them seemed to get rid of it. It wasn't anything out of the norms for a ticking neon engine, but the silence afterwards was the first thing I noticed. (Being that I could hear the injectors clicking over anything else.)

It was a "That's just wrong" moment.
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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:24 pm

Well, it's going to be about $400 in labor alone to have new valves and guides put in. A header is about $220. I'm not feeling super inclined to put money into an engine I'm going to swap out, but given how long the timeline is for that swap, I want to be able to live with the current motor until it comes out. I'm willing to drop a couple hundred, but the head work is going to be pretty expensive and I'd like to avoid it. However, with my luck, I'm going to drop $200+ on a header and it won't quiet anything down. Not to mention the long tube will make the factory exhaust sound pretty raspy and louder.

Another thing to consider is that the guy at the machine shop had nothing to gain by telling me it was an exhaust leak. He actually lost money by saying that, so that makes him a little more trustworthy in my book. Plus, if the guides were loose, oil would be getting into the cylinders and causing some smoke. I'm pretty certain this car burns pretty clean; I've never seen smoke come out of it. The valve seals are new, though.

Hell, I don't know. Either way is a gamble. I think I'll take the cheaper one first.
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 Jul 07, 2018 5:25 pm

I added a small lip on the front bumper. It's an EZ lip that goes for about thirty bucks online. I know I could have saved a few bucks by going to Home Depot, but this was too convenient to pass up. Install was a breeze and I think it looks nice for what it is.

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I washed the car after those pictures and took another picture with the sunlight shining on it.

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I think it looks pretty good for $29.99. I hope it can take a beating.
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 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:51 am

Lip on a lip :) Ran the home depot lip on my old SRT-4. I have mixed opinions on it. Its like a "soul patch" for the car. lol. Does make the front end appear more aggressive. Nice and clean ride

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Re: 2002 R/T Build V2

Post by JeremyJ » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:58 pm

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

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I'm sure it's totaled. My daughters and I got some whiplash, but fine otherwise. We were stopped at a light and a guy in a Malibu hit us going 35-40. It was quick and it was harsh. My seat broke and collapsed, almost squishing my kid. I'm super bummed about the car and I'm spending the next day removing as much as I can before the insurance totals it out.
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Re: 2002 R/T Built to Death

Post by occasional demons » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:44 am

Suckage!

Silver car curse. Every silver car I have owned has been rear ended, or people constantly pulling out in front of me.

They are "invisible", hence why all the Ohio State patrol cars are silver.

My '01 has been rear ended 5 times, and was totalled in 2007 when the idiot in the Ford high cube van backed out in front of me on an ice covered road.

R title FWIW, at least I got about 100,000 more miles out of it.
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Re: 2002 R/T Built to Death

Post by Midnight_Rider » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:52 am

Glad there were no serious injuries but sad that your car "died" due to an inattentive driver.
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Re: 2002 R/T Built to Death

Post by occasional demons » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:10 am

Hopefully your daughter's and your's whiplash doesn't get as bad as mine did. Almost 3 months of barely able to sleep from the pain, and almost a year of PT.

And this after having no symptoms until a week later. Then it hit me like a freight train. It changes your perspective on all those "Faker's" from a minor crash. I was hit at probably less than 5 mph.

I still have numbness in my thumb from the neck injury.

And even after suing, I was still stuck with $11,000 ofthe medical.
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Re: 2002 R/T Built to Death

Post by MyNeonSaysHi » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:12 am

Wow!!! So sorry man! Such a bummer! Main thing is everyone is mainly okay with no major injuries. Make sure the guy at fault pays for EVERYTHING. I would factor in the rarity of the R/T and how much the car meant to you and all the time, money and effort you put into it. Did you hit a car in front of you or anything? I would be super pissed at the driver of the other car if that happened to me. Was he on his phone or anything?

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Re: 2002 R/T Built to Death

Post by JeremyJ » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:23 pm

Thank you for all the kind words.

My neck is still messed up, two days later. The doctor told me that if it hasn't gotten better in a week, to come back in. I'll be monitoring my daughters' necks as well. I'm just super glad my 15-month old son wasn't in the car. That could have been really scary. We didn't hit the car in front of us, because we were starting to move forward and they pulled away from me before I could roll into them. I also had the presence of mind to yank the parking brake immediately afterward.

Since we were basically at a stop and he hit us going almost 40, I'm pretty sure he was distracted somehow. He was a fifty-something year old guy with his adult son in the car. It was his wife's car, too. He was cited at the scene and his insurance is already taking care of it, so I'm remaining positive about the upcoming process. I'm still so bummed about the car, though. I already removed the coilovers and the RPF1s. I put it on the stock struts and a set of 14" steelies that I had laying around. So if they take it, I still have a set of silverstones and my RPF1s to either sell or put on something else.
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Re: 2002 R/T Built to Death

Post by occasional demons » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:29 pm

They will quickly cover the property damages. Medical may take a while...

Hopefully it isn't USAA. They were all nice, until I began submitting injury claims. Then it was like who are you? Go Away!

Did a fine job of representing our veterans they did. :roll:
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Re: 2002 R/T Built to Death

Post by JeremyJ » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:35 pm

Well shit, it is USAA. My insurance (progressive) is actually covering the medical bills and they are going to be refunded by USAA. That means I don't have to deal with USAA for anything medical, which is probably a good thing.
02 base -> 05 SRT ACR -> 96 sedan -> 99 R/T coupe -> 02 R/T -> 03 SRT

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Re: 2002 R/T Built to Death

Post by Midnight_Rider » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:31 am

Hope that your experience with Progressive is better than mine was back in 2003. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone I like.
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Re: 2002 R/T Built to Death

Post by occasional demons » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:36 am

Midnight_Rider wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:31 am
Hope that your experience with Progressive is better than mine was back in 2003. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone I like.
QFT!

Progressive and Westfield are on the same Board. Westfield's insured is who totalled my '01. Even though I was not cited or found at fault by the police, they determined I was 5% at fault, and thus reduced my compensation for my car accordingly.

Basically gave themselves a 5% discount.

The best insurance I have had to deal with was Nationwide. I have not used them, but at least they take care of the people their insured damage. I don't know how well they stack up when they are taking care of you when someone else hits you.


I hate to say it, but after the last time, a lawyer will get involved from the start on any future crashes. It's about the only way you won't get screwed completely by either your insurance, or theirs. Had I not had a lawyer, I would have not known that my health insurance had an $11,000 lien on any compensation I got. Had I settled for what little the insurance was offering, I would have still been in the hole.

Lawyer Up.
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