Seriously, there are sometimes months in between updates. I move very slow on this car. Don't expect anything fast paced lol. I have not driven this car in 3 years.
Take a seat, there is lots to read.
Anyways, for those who haven't seen this before...
Engine/Trans is a 2.4L DOHC 16V high output, turbocharged and intercooled, put through a 5 speed T850 manual transaxle adapted from some sort of European Mercedes van, with a Quaife automatic torque-biasing LSD and equal length axles.
Power stock is 240hp/250tq, however a lot of independent tests indicated the flywheel power level was actually closer to 270hp. Whatever.
Ever since the concept SRT/PVO Neon was shown, Ive had an interest in these. I was searching for the longest time for a clean, low mileage/one owner/non modded 2004/05 to buy, when eventually I settled on this. I could tell that the car was looked after, so I went ahead and bought it. Nick had a carbon trunk and some wheels for it, but I opted to pass on them and ride on the winters. The car at this point had a 3" turboback, Mopar Stage2, AEM intake, and I forget what else. Little bits here and there. It has the "Livin' Loud" options package, which includes the sunroof, an 8 inch Kicker subwoofer and all Kicker speakers.
I cant quite remember when exactly I started taking it apart, sometime in August 2009 I think. The ONE time I had it out on "Cruise Night" (now extinct), the car developed an odd shifting problem. I just figured I'd pull the transaxle out and rebuild it.
At this point I amassed a huge pile of stock turbo go-fast junk. (AGP wastegate actuator, AGP intake, AEM wideband, Diablosport Predator tuner, solid motor mounts, HKS bov, etc)
On the PL Neon platform, when working without a hoist it is easiest to yank the transmission and engine as an assembly out the top. So that's exactly what I did. I eventually got the thought of rebuilding the engine, for whatever reason. So, I started disassembly.
The internals of the block and cylinder head were in fantastically mint condition (to this day the car only has 38k on it), which I was quite happy to see, although not surprised. These engines have all forged internals and quite simply are close to bulletproof.
The pistons and cracked-cap connecting rods now reside in a friends 2.4L swapped 1st gen Neon, making it essentially a built motor.
Since the car had a small vandalism claim and a small stone chip claim, off it went to the bodyshop, where I eventually decided to repaint the entire car, and paint the roof gloss black. The car recieved a new OEM hood, bumper, headlights, and tons of other little odds and ends. The antenna and rear trunk lock were also shaved.
Devon Dorosh performed all the bodywork, and convinced me to strip the bay and paint that as well. The color is a custom offshoot of the factory PVK Orange Blast code, it is simply amazing in person and shines a million times better then stock. I couldnt have asked for a better job.
The final result was this:
Also while it was in the bodyshop, I decided to go big turbo and picked up this awesome piece:
Stock turbo is on the left.
It was an AGP BorgWarner S256 .63, powdercoated to look Mopar, and wow did it ever troll a lot of people while it sat on my shelf. It has since been sold, my plans have probably changed 1000 times since I started disassembling the car.
Acquired these at this time as well:
A fully race prepped transaxle assembly built by the one and only Ed Peters, a key player in the factory Neon racing teams and essentially the man who knows everything about making a Neon go faster/handle better/brake harder. New Venture Gear cast this trans, its custom 1 inch thick/21 spline input shaft, and its custom 3.77 final drive specifically for him, to go into an SRT4 World Challenge car. He then went to work on it, porting, camfering, and comet trailing anything that had to do with the oiling system. The shift forks have been lightened, all casting flash has been removed, etc etc. It would take an entire page to describe what has been done to this trans. Only 4 of them exist. Only one of them is actually in a car, the owner of Modernperformance.com's personal SRT4. Not sure about the other two, they have probably been destroyed in the name of asset reduction.
Also sourced these from Ed as well, the last known set of factory new BBS RX wheels from an ACR SRT4, still in their BBS boxes. I have only opened one, so for all I know, the other 3 could be steelies lol.
Poor guy works too hard!
The cover is an indoor only Dustop one from Autopia/Covercraft. It was a bit pricey but worth every penny. It is custom cut and fits the car perfectly. There is even extra material cut for the tall spoiler, which is great considering I thought they would just send me one for a normal Neon. I am impressed to say the least.
As you can tell the front subframe has been dropped. I noticed some fluid in one of the bellows boots on the steering rack, so that will either get replaced or swapped for a manual conversion. The car has the p/s and a/c deleted already for weight savings/power/bay space.
The brakes will be replaced with units I'll take pics of when they get here. Everything will be powdercoated and bushings replaced with poly.
Original window sticker/manuals/personalized plate (lol)
The SRT4 ACR seats were a gift from the girlfriend. Greatest factory seats in any compact car. /opinion
The exhaust manifold is a custom built stainless piece, all vband connections.
Wastegate is a 44mm TiAL V44.
The turbine housing is a TiAL GT35 cast stainless steel 0.82 A/R.
The exhaust is a full stainless 4" turboback with a Burns stainless muffler. That will be getting chopped and replaced with more 4" pipe.
The piece on the left is the wastegate dump tube, which itself is larger then the stock exhaust on our F150.
The oil pan has had all its casting flash removed, so no small bits break off and then circulate through the oiling system. An oil temperature bung has been added. Its passages have also been ported and polished, again by our good friend Ed.
The pickup tube orifice has been enlarged considerably.
New hubs and wheel bearings. Neons love to wear them out.
Also found some cell pics I took of it when I loosely clamped it all together.
The pistons are custom, 9:1 compression PFI spec Arias units, that have a ceramic thermal barrier coating on the tops, and a dry film lubricant on the skirts. The coating was done by Calico. I got the HD tool steel wrist pins with them as well.
I have two sets of piston rings. The supplied Arias steel ones, and gapless Total Seal ones. The Arias rings will be used.
The connecting rods are Brian Crower Custom Age 625+. They are rated for 350hp EACH, and the ARP fasteners are rated at 280,000 psi tensile strength.
Head studs are of course, ARP. Exhaust studs are on the right.
From left to right, oil pan studs, Mopar main bearings and thrust bearing, and Clevite CB-1813H connecting rod bearings, also dry film coated by Calico.