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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I just bought a 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4, the vehicle has around 175K Miles, but has been rebuilt, restored, upgraded between 2011 and 2014.

The previous owner bought it from the US in perfect conditions and shipped it to Panama where it is now and has only kept it for about 4 months, I can tell you I have never seen a second hand car with more than 10 years in better conditions and I have bought many.

Aside from that, the previous owner was just an Honda ricer, and had no knowledge about the car, gladly he didn't mess up too much with the car, but still made some regrettable but still fixable mods.

He installed a blow-off valve but never removed or disabled the stock one, a battery that doesn't fit on the tray, and removed the filter box and installed a cheap aftermarket filter, also changed its Lug nuts for some cheap anodized red insanely long nuts with spikes on the end that the ricers love to use, painted the front grill and bottom bumper black and put some vinyl eyelids on the front lamps.

One thing I liked was the rear Tein springs that he installed, the car not only looks better but feels much better on the road, he kept the front ones, I can't argue about that the car was almost unrideable with those installed, too low and too stiff.

The car is going to be a weekend car, but it will be raced on the drag strip sometimes.




 

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I started fixing a few issues of the car, like changing the battery for one with a better size, still not exactly the size but much better.
I found a lot of small issues, and some other not so small.
The passenger side door was forced a few times to open the car because, it only have 1 key and was commonly left inside the car.

Seems that the rear suspension needs better shocks because the stock ones don't keep up with the new springs, and the car becomes very jumpy.

My most important issue right now are the surge valves, I disabled the stock BOV to see how the aftermarket one did its job, it worked good, but the car felt a little bit less powerful, but the boost was kept 10psi stable, but I remember the car getting 15psi before, I'm not sure is there is a leak or it is not correctly installed but I have to keep checking, I wanted to left the stock BOV working and completely uninstall the AF and see how the car performs.

The car had some stuttering at low revs and low speed I though it was caused by the 2 BOV working at the same time, but after disabling one it still happens.

I looked up at the injectors and they seem to be Stage 1 injectors as I expected but still need to verify that.
 

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I would go through the car really good. I have discovered a lot wrong with mine. This car was modded at some point, the PCV valve let go and no one noticed it. I had to get new valves for mine due to them all being burnt. Lots of broken/missing stuff. Bolts missing, important bolts might I add. Hack job for sure.
 

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Mines a 05 PT Cruiser GT Stage 1 with the same engine. You might consider a Boomba check valve between the intake and PVC valve. Also, some Prothane inserts in the upper and lower torque struts will help too. I have the Mopar BOV in mine. The stuttering may be nothing more than old plugs and wires. The stock wires go bad. I went with MSD wires and plugs gapped at 0.042. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the comments and recommendations,
I found that disabling the aftermarket BOV and having the stock one working makes the turbo be able to reach the 15psi stable, but the stuttering is till present and very noticeable at low revs.

I will check the plugs and wires, and change them if necessary, the odd thing is that the owner said that the plugs were new from this year, anyway he could be lying, better be sure.

The check valve mod sounds interesting, but first I will try to get rid of the weirdly installed EMUSA BOV, the thing is that there are like 3 or 4 sensors sharing the same T-tube where the BOV is installed, I have never seen the stock tubing just between the intercooler and the throttle body, I will take this with a lot of patience for the moment.

Also I would like to know how that cheap EMUSA BOV will work if adjusted and installed properly, maybe its not that bad.

Aside from that the transmission has a short link kit and the shift stick feels tight as hell, but still I found that the bushings are completely gone, and I will work on that.

EDIT:
Ok Thanks to Handy_Cruiser I found a very important issue, the plugs were too tightened, I thought they would break and complicate things, but a 1.5' bar did the job with some scary force needed, luckily I could get them out without issue the ones installed on the vehicle were old Campion RE14MCC5, these were so worn out that their gap was over 0.70, I don't even know how the car could start, also the valve cover is leaking oil onto the plug holes, I think its because some pressure leaking from the intake by the PCV valve as you have mentioned.




To make the car be able to ride correctly while I got the new ones I cleaned them and gaped them at 0.40, not sure if its correct, but this really improved the starting stability, the car had some stuttering for less than a second when starting previous to this, I thought it was normal like in my old Chevrolet Blazer, but now this disappeared and starts even better than my Turbo Caravan, I will wait for the new plugs to test it on the road.

The wires seem to be OK, wire 3 and 4 were 2.2k ohm, wire 1 was 2.3k but wire 2 was a little off with 3.4k I will end replace them along with the plugs anyway but I would like a recommendation on the plugs, I have read that the NGK4306 are nice ones and them to be gaped between 0.40 and 0.50, the stock gap for them is 0.52 maybe they will need no adjustment.

The Boomba check valve seems quite expensive for the moment, I don't know if I'm going to keep the stock tubing yet.
And I'm not sure what you mean with the Prothane inserts in the upper and lower torque struts, but the car has already Boomba motor mounts, if is that what you mean.

EDIT2:
I was checking some of the vacuum tubing and found that the surge valve vacuum source that connects before the throttle body was cracked and not working properly (odd because it felt pretty good), I did a temporary fix to it and now seems that I can't get over 10psi of boost, I have to test it correctly but seems like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I confirmed the issue that happened last time, seems like when I get the vacuum line connected I get only 10psi, which cause the car to feel very slow and underpowered eve during normal driving.

There can be something that is not correctly connected, but for the moment disconnecting and sealing that vacuum line seems to be the best option for the moment so the car could feel as expected.

A few more parts are on the way, hopefully I can get this issue corrected when those arrive.
 

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Yesterday I installed the new plugs (NGK V Power 4306) and the new wires (Bosch 09477), they clearly got rid of the stuttering at throttle which was my main goal, the plugs were pre gaped at 0.45, I checked them all and decided to keep them like that and see how they perform, but wires have kept me thinking, the old ones were around 2.3Kohms, but these new ones are around 6K, I would have said that they are worst but they worked fine, I'm going to swap the old ones back to see if I notice any difference.

A few days ago I installed the K&N drop-in filter to replace the cheap shitty filter that it had and when doing that checked some vacuum tubing and figured out that the reason that the car had an aftermarket BOV and it could reach 15 psi was because normally the stock surge valve was always disabled, and that is why when I connected the black tube to the SV solenoid just like the diagram said and disabled the EMUSA BOV I only got 10 psi.

I'm not sure but I think the stock SV was leaking, but I expected it to work correctly at 15psi but I think the solenoid is opening too early, anyway, I decided to check the EMUSA BOV in detail, took it out and tear it apart, cleaned it and assembled it, it looked good and I just made sure everything was ok, it just had a small leak around the top center. After that I installed it and enabled it, and seems to be working fine.

I will need to look for block plate but first I need some shift links bushings and the prothane inserts for the suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A few pictures of the engine with the K&N filter, EMUSA BOV and the Boomba Racing engine mount.









The car came with no filter box and using a crappy filter, this K&N filter was the least I could do.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I agree with the lack on space, but the fun part its debatable LOL.

This weekend I went to the drag strip but didn't run the car because I'm still waiting for some important parts, but saw a 300+ and a 500+ SRT4 Neons, the later is the one that attempted to make a run, with the 3 attempts they failed horribly.

First broke an axle, after hours repairing, in the second attempt couldn't shift correctly, and in the last one the same plus some stuttering when trying to put power on third gear.

I went to talk to them and I saw that the had quite a sloppy way of doing things, so I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to ask them for help very often.
 

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Your better off running the stock airbox with that K&N filter, right now you have a warm air intake. At least with the stock box it's drawing air from inside the fender.
The intercooler is already not sufficient and if your drawing in that heated air it's making it worse.
 

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I'm very aware of that and at least is not worst than the way it was before, with a filter that was falling apart from suction and going into the engine.
Unless I get my hands on a stock airbox or spend hundreds on a cold air intake, it's not going to get better, also getting a cold air intake is not a very good idea, due to water ingestion.

I have been looking for the stock airbox locally, but seems that I will need to buy it online, another option could be making a metal shroud to separate it from the engine bay, also the stock intercooler should be enough for a fairly stock car, stage 1 is still pretty weak, I'm on tight budget for the moment and right now is not that critical, I have other issues to solve on the car.

I'm waiting for the shift linkage bushings to arrive, and the lower arm prothane bushings. Sometimes the car will fail to get into third and throw me to first or fifth, so I will check the linkage adjustment too.
 

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Last week I was able to receive my BOV blocking plate, and got it installed, now I'm getting 16psi and the car feels very powerful at the top of the torque curve.

So yesterday I went to a Dyno Day, and I was able to pull 222WHP in the first run and 220 in the second, I think I'm pretty happy with it, since the car has almost no mods.

Now for the bad news, when going back to home, the car had the driver and 3 passengers and I think I felt the clutch slip 2 times when I was in fourth gear accelerating at the highway with some slight inclination on the road. Its the first time I felt this, it was very odd and immediately caught my attention, the engine jumped from 2000 to 3000 rpm without gaining any acceleration, obviously I got kind of scared and didn't push it further.

Also during the first run in the dyno the boost jumped like crazy up to 18 or even 19psi but I didn't feel any power surge, so it kind of confused me, also didn't happen again in the day
 

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x2 Sounds like clutch, you may be able tell for sure by low speed laboring the motor uphill in 5th, but don't go too slip happy and heat glaze the flywheel

What is the mileage on the SRT-4?

Not that mileage matters on an SRT-4 regarding clutch life lol
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So yesterday I went to a Dyno Day, and I was able to pull 222WHP in the first run and 220 in the second, I think I'm pretty happy with it, since the car has almost no mods.
Here is the screenshot of the Dyno run, is messy but is the only one I could get, my first run in third gear is the one that ends slightly over 140 Km/h and the second one (red) in fourth gear is the one over 200 Km/h.


I've been in the drag strip with budget street tires and it was my first time at the strip, my times were between 14.3 and 14.6 did 5 runs, 3 for qualifying, and 2 in the race day, lost against the champion, but I blame my lack of experience. Couldn't get a good reaction time in any of the runs.




The video of the race day is on Facebook, the first run is at 4:50 (win against an honda civic) and second run 5:48 (lost against a Nissan sentra b13)
https://www.facebook.com/BanderaKuadrosPTY/videos/1054447734638858/

I will try to upload other runs on youtube.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I started taking out the transmission a few days ago,




The most annoying of it is that there are bolts and nuts that are between than 15mm and 9/16 and between 18mm and 11/16 but are neither of those exact sizes.

The transmission mount seems to be slightly worn but I'm not sure if critical


Since I took out the clutch while it was still working, it just couldn't keep up with the power, I was wondering if it could still be used in other cars or it will need refurbishing.



Are the clutch kits compatible with the Gen 1 Neons? (just wondering)

The fork seems to be in good condition, never had an issue before so I don't think I need to buy a new one

 
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