Topic: Neons of the midwest: unite!

Talked with some of the other teams running neons in the Midwest and figured we might want to share a little knowledge and possibly trade parts as necessary. So ask away!

As an update, I'm currently tearing down a parts car that's rusty as hell and has the wrong transmission bellhousing. Since the parts car is 2nd gen (02 rt) and my racecar is 1st gen (mostly) let me know if there's any 2nd gen parts you want!

2 (edited by Camerlengo 2016-11-08 09:28 AM)

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

We are not in the midwest but we are running two Neons on the West coast. One in Lemons and one in Lucky Dog.

both are 1996, one is a DOHC ACR the other a SOHC 4 door espresso.

We have tried and done every mod I found on the internet and Neons.org

The SOHC is almost entirely stock, brakes, fuel cell, wheels, engine, cooling, etc.
The DOHC is a frankenstein.

'96 Dodge Neon, a.k.a. "Neon Pope" - 17 Lemons races - 0 top five

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

Are the regs that different in Lucky Dog? I would think you would be able to make one car compatible for both.

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

Looking at the rules a BIG one I see is no Cost limiting, Open engine, open suspension. So you can go bananas.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL) https://www.facebook.com/groups/MBTLracing/
88 Thunderbird "What's the word? Thunderbird!", "What's the Price? Thirty Twice!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

Trust me on this: You need to do the PT Cruiser front brake upgrade.

Team Co-Craptain, Los Cerdos Voladores
Plymouth Neon
Yeah, we're horrible...but we're LEAST Horrible

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

widgetsltd wrote:

Trust me on this: You need to do the PT Cruiser front brake upgrade.

Never thought I would see those together in the same sentence.

7 (edited by cabinboy 2016-11-22 05:37 AM)

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

widgetsltd wrote:

Trust me on this: You need to do the PT Cruiser front brake upgrade.

We ran PT Cruiser spindles on the White Trash Racing Neon. We also ran a Shadow axle on the drivers side (I think) so we could dial in more camber without bottoming out the axle in a hard right turn. It's about 1/4" shorter.

Newest member - White Trash Racing
Owner of the Traveling Hat

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

Just to connect real people to forum people, who was next to us at Gingerman with the orange Neon?  We had the Firebird.

Team Glue Sticks
00 Firebird, 02 X-Type, NX200, 00 Mazda 626 (Sold)
2016 NJMP Heroic Fix

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

widgetsltd wrote:

Trust me on this: You need to do the PT Cruiser front brake upgrade.

Yup, we did that on the ACR. Machined down the spindles. Made a huge difference.

'96 Dodge Neon, a.k.a. "Neon Pope" - 17 Lemons races - 0 top five

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

VanillaHaze wrote:

Are the regs that different in Lucky Dog? I would think you would be able to make one car compatible for both.

Mandatory pit stop for 5 mins every 2 hours equals out the fuel cells (makes them unnecessary)

Class placement based on 1 hour qualifying session based on time

No reason to bribe judges...

Fire suppression system required

Window net required

We decided to run in the slower class with the stock Neon and ended up winning our class in our very first race with Lucky Dog... smile smile

'96 Dodge Neon, a.k.a. "Neon Pope" - 17 Lemons races - 0 top five

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

widgetsltd wrote:
Trust me on this: You need to do the PT Cruiser front brake upgrade.
Yup, we did that on the ACR. Machined down the spindles. Made a huge difference.

Do you need to do this or can you do it as a straight knuckle swap?

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

So it's looking like we're going to be taking the neon down to Barber if February, is anybody else gonna be there?

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

VanillaHaze wrote:

Do you need to do this or can you do it as a straight knuckle swap?

If you have a 1995-99 neon, you will find that the PT Cruiser front knuckle is too thick to fit into the strut clevis. You need to get the clevis of the knuckle machined to the thickness of the 1995-99 neon part. I recommend using 2001 model year PT knuckles with 2003-10 PT drive axles. This will fit, will preserve the neon's steering geometry and will not bottom out the drive axle if you run lots of negative camber. The only downside of the 2001 PT knuckle is that you have to use the narrower (and more expensive) wheel bearing in them. Buy genuine Timken/NSK bearings and avoid the cheapo garbage bearings.

If your neon is a 2000-05 model year, the machine work is not necessary.

Team Co-Craptain, Los Cerdos Voladores
Plymouth Neon
Yeah, we're horrible...but we're LEAST Horrible

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

widgetsltd wrote:
VanillaHaze wrote:

Do you need to do this or can you do it as a straight knuckle swap?

If you have a 1995-99 neon, you will find that the PT Cruiser front knuckle is too thick to fit into the strut clevis. You need to get the clevis of the knuckle machined to the thickness of the 1995-99 neon part. I recommend using 2001 model year PT knuckles with 2003-10 PT drive axles. This will fit, will preserve the neon's steering geometry and will not bottom out the drive axle if you run lots of negative camber. The only downside of the 2001 PT knuckle is that you have to use the narrower (and more expensive) wheel bearing in them. Buy genuine Timken/NSK bearings and avoid the cheapo garbage bearings.

If your neon is a 2000-05 model year, the machine work is not necessary.

I'm running a 95, so I would need to do the machining. (gov't work) I actually have a set of knuckles/driveshafts from a second gen that I bought for parts that according to this would also need machining? I noticed that these knuckles also use a higher spline count than what I'm using, would that be the same as the shafts/knuckles from the PT?

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

Yes, 2nd gen neon driveshafts have the same outer CV stub & spline as the PT part. Assuming that your car is a manual trans, the 2nd gen shafts would need to be from a manual trans car or a 4-speed automatic car. The 2000-01 neon 3-speed automatic right side shaft won't fit. You should know that (original equipment) driveshafts from 2000-early 2002 neon and 2001-early 2002 PT are at least 1/4" longer than the OE 2003-05 neon or 2003-10 PT. When Chrysler installed wider wheel bearings as a running change on neon & PT early in the 2002 model year, they shortened the drive axles slightly (and changed the knuckle design & machining) to accomodate this. The combination of the 2001 PT knuckles and the shorter OE 2003-10 PT or OE 2003-05 neon driveshafts will avoid bottoming out the inner tripod joint (on the shaft) when you slam in the 2.5-3 degrees negative camber that you should be running.

Team Co-Craptain, Los Cerdos Voladores
Plymouth Neon
Yeah, we're horrible...but we're LEAST Horrible

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

Ok, it sounds like I'm actually not far off from making this happen as necessary as I have an 02 neon shaft and knuckle that I can get working if necessary.

I'm a little confused on the length issue though, as I would think a longer shaft would correlate to a more narrow bearing? Do you know how I would check to see if I have the longer or shorter shaft? Could I just compare to the shafts that I'm currently running? Is the difference in length on the trans side or the knuckle side?

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

VanillaHaze wrote:

Ok, it sounds like I'm actually not far off from making this happen as necessary as I have an 02 neon shaft and knuckle that I can get working if necessary.

I'm a little confused on the length issue though, as I would think a longer shaft would correlate to a more narrow bearing? Do you know how I would check to see if I have the longer or shorter shaft? Could I just compare to the shafts that I'm currently running? Is the difference in length on the trans side or the knuckle side?

You can't use the 02 neon knuckle. The 2000-05 neon (not SRT-4) brakes are almost exactly the same as the 1st gen neon brakes, and they such as badly as the 1st gen front brakes. You need a PT Cruiser knuckle because the PT front brakes use bolt-on caliper adapters, different (better) calipers, a much better (closer to a square) pad shape, a larger diameter piston, and a larger diameter rotor. The driveshaft length difference is in the center shaft. I prefer to use the 2003-10 PT driveshafts (which are shorter than 2001-02) with the 2001 PT knuckle (which uses a narrower bearing) specifically because this combination is not likely to bottom out the shaft's inner tripod joint when you tilt the knuckle in for negative camber. Think for a second about what happens to the driveshaft when the knuckle tilts in as you adjust camber to maximum negative, and this should make sense.

You can try the 02 neon driveshafts, and they might work fine, but if they are the early 2002 style then they are the longer ones.

Team Co-Craptain, Los Cerdos Voladores
Plymouth Neon
Yeah, we're horrible...but we're LEAST Horrible

Re: Neons of the midwest: unite!

Ok, this is starting to sound like a job for after our frantic preparations for Barber.