Category Archives: MP Blog

Modern Performance’s blog about the Dodge Neon, Dodge Neon SRT-4, Dodge Caliber SRT-4, Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet Cobalt SS and industry related news.

2013-2016 Dodge Dart 1.4 turbo leaking from coolant hoses? We have the fix.

Problem- the 2013-2016 Dodge Dart with 1.4 turbo engine has three coolant hoses that connect together via a plastic tee. This is under the hood, on the passenger side right above the engine mount. The problem with this, is that the plastic connection is constantly heat cycled between cool, and mega hot. This constant thermo cycling causes the tee to break, and leak coolant. If it gets bad enough you could have a huge leak.

Sure you could buy another OEM plastic piece, but thats destined to fail as well. So we have come up with a solution to permanently fix this problem. We have come up with a precise fit, solid brass coolant tee. We assemble it in house out of US made brass, and this one will never fail.

Click on the photo below to jump to our product page to find out more or order this MPx Coolant Tee for the 2013/2014/2015/2016 Dodge Dart with 1.4 turbo engine.

Dodge Dart owners with problems going into reverse? Your reverse lockout cable is most likely broken.

The 2013-2016 Dodge Dart with manual transmission has a reverse gear that is accessed by moving the shifter to the far left and then up. This is a common European design. The problem with it, is that someone could easily put their transmission into reverse if they were not careful instead of first gear. So, the transmission engineers put a reverse lockout sleeve that in order to access reverse you have to lift up on a sleeve on the shifter.

This sleeve pulls on a cable, that raises up a safety bar on the shifter, then allowing the shifter to be moved into reverse. Over time, this cable can break, and leave you unable to get your Dart into reverse.

Now, we offer three options. You can get a new reverse lockout cable by itself, pop off your oem shift knob, and install it, however,the OEM shift knob will be destroyed when its removed. So you really should either buy a new OEM shift knob that you’ll need to glue down like the one from the factory, or get the MPx shift knob with lockout cable package. The MPx shift knob is the only one that is truely reusable compared to the OEM knob, and its smaller in size offering a more sporty feel instead of the softball sized oem shift knob.

    1. New reverse lockout cable

    1. New reverse lockout cable with OEM shift knob

    1. New reverse lockout cable with MPx shift knob

Click on any of the photos to jump to the product pages for more info.

Dodge Darts with 2.4 benefit from the MPx catch can! Eliminate oil sludge in your intake manifold!

The Dodge Dart 2.4L engine has baffles inside the valve cover that allow blow by and vapor from thermal cycling to be removed by the PCV system. The PCV system runs to the intake manifold so these vapors can be burned off through the engine.

The problem with this system is that oil vapors can naturally can flow through the PCV system and coat the inside of the intake manifold. In no time you can actually have oil pool up in the intake manifold.

This catch can system fixes that problem. It traps the oil inside the catch can but still allows the vapor to bypass and get burned off in the engine.

Over about a two week period we collected about 4 tablespoons of engine oil through our catch can. That’s oil that would have pooled up and slicked up the intake manifold.

This catch can has a convenient sight system that shows you how much oil has been collected, and also has an easy quarter turn ball valve on the bottom of the catch can to easily and quickly drain oil without having to have it removed.

Jeep Renegade owners with 2.4 engine – we’re working on a performance header for you!

We are in development/testing a MPx header for the 2.4 liter Jeep Renegade.

We first released a header for the 2.4 engine back in 2014 for the Dodge Dart and we are now developing a header with high flow catalytic converter for the Renegade. The header we designed for the Renegade which is nearly identical to Dart header except for a change in the lower B pipe, made 11 horsepower and 12 more lbs of torque at the wheels. It made a very noticeable change in power that you can feel!

This header is designed to bolt onto the factory exhaust flange with no cutting, or welding needed. You can keep your factory engine cover on, or leave it off if you wish. Because there is a high flow catalytic converter, your car will still pass emissions testing and not have any check engine lights.

More details to come later. If you want to find out more about our header for the Dart since it will be very similar to the Renegade header, check out our Dart header page here:

To find out more about the progress of the Renegade header – please click on the image above to jump to our Renegade header development page.


NGK Iridium spark plugs help restore throttle response and gas mileage in Dodge Dart with 2.0/2.4L engines

Looking to get back some of the crisp throttle response your Dodge Dart / Jeep Renegade / Jeep Compass / Jeep Cherokee / Fiat 500X /2015-2016 Chrysler 200 / or Ram Promaster with 2.4 liter engine had?

We tested out a set of these new NGK iridium spark plugs in our 2014 Dodge Dart with 2.4 engine and were impressed with the improved throttle response afterwards.

Photo of our spark plugs with 15,000 miles on them vs new Iridium plugs for our Dodge Dart:

Want more info on these? Click on the photo to jump to our product page!

Charles worked/restored another 97 Neon with 2.4 swap.

Our employee Charles bought a 97 Neon Expresso coupe from a local friend of ours.

This car was originally from San Antonio, and built with a 2001/2002 PT Cruiser 2.4 engine with 2.0 Neon cams.

This car is built with stock internals, stock header and exhaust but is using the MPx power steering bracket, its got AC as well. One thing you have to know about using 2.4’s from the PT Cruiser if you are swapping into the 95-99 Neon , will be shown below.

The Dodge Neon 2.0 bolt pattern for the intake and exhaust manifold is different than the PT Cruiser and SRT-4. So because we are using a 2.0 intake manifold on a PT head, the bolt pattern had to be redrilled on the head and manifold. See below.

Photos of Mack Wards Neon ACR with SRT4 swap.

Mack Wards first gen Neon ACR with SRT-4 swap.
T350 Neon transmission
Rebuilt with 8.5:1 JE pistons
Crane 14 Cams
AGP Zeta 3.0 turbo
AGP twin scroll turbo manifold
plus lots more mods

We’ve followed Mack’s car for a few years and seen it transform from a first gen Neon with SRT-4 swap, then he swapped in a stage 3 Mopar turbo kit, and now this twin scroll manifold and Zeta 3.0 turbo. Its progressively gone from 240 wheel horsepower to 400hp and beyond!

Onto the pictures. We hope you appreciate all the fine work Mack has done!

Here is a walk around and idle video!

Bolts that secure the intermediate shaft on 2003-2005 Dodge SRT-4 to engine

We had a customer ask about the size of the bolts that hold the intermediate shaft to the support bracket on the 2003-2005 Dodge SRT-4.

There are two bolts that secure the intermediate shaft to the support bracket.
Intermediate shaft to bracket M8x1.25×20 (2 pieces)

There are two bolts that secure the aluminum bracket to the engine that the intermediate shaft bolts to.
Aluminum bracket to engine M10x1.5×25 (2 pieces)

Hope this could be of use to someone out there.

First gen 95-99 Neon vs Second gen 00-05 Neon fuel pump assemblies – compatible, but not really

We wanted to share information on the 95-99 and 00-05 Neon fuel pump assemblies.
They are essentially the same, and can be interchanged, however there is one big issue that makes them not really suitable to be swapped.

The design of the fuel level sensor is designed differently, and what this means, is that if you install a second gen fuel pump in your first gen, the pump will work fine, however the fuel gauge will display backwards. So if you have a full tank, it will show your car is empty. The same thing applies to the second gens, if you install a first gen fuel pump assembly it will show opposite fuel level as well.

12.5:1 2.4 JE custom pistons VS OEM pistons for Dodge/Plymouth Neon 2.4 engine swaps

We thought we’d share some weights and photos of the OEM pistons vs our new custom made JE 12.5:1compression pistons.

These pistons are designed for use in the 1995-2001 EDZ motor out of the Dodge Stratus, Breeze, Caravan, and PT Cruiser that 1995-1999 Neon guys commonly swap into their cars. This swap is also done in the 2000-2002 Neon, the 03-05 Neon uses a different computer that is not compatible with this engine.

In the photos below, we are showing you the weights of the stock piston vs our custom JE piston.

Stock piston: 9.4:1
Pressed in wrist pin, and Full face/skirt design

JE custom piston: 12.5:1

Floating wrist pin, Asymmetric reduced skirt design

Difference between the stock and aftermarket pistons? The aftermarket JE pistons are about 4% heavier, HOWEVER, they have a reduced piston skirt design that reduces drag, and the JE pistons use a floating wrist pin that reduces drag on the piston and rod when the piston is rotating in the block bore.

To find out more about the pistons we offer for the EDZ 2.4 motor, please visit our 2.4 swap section of engine parts.

AutoMeter gauges not being set at O when turned off/Or needing Calibration

There are two scenarios in which you’ll have a AutoMeter gauge thats not accurate or is not set to zero when the car is turned off.

1) You received a brand new Autometer gauge
2) You’ve had a gauge for a while and it is inaccurate, or it shows -5 or +4 when the car is turned off

Now, if you have a brand new gauge, Autometer frequently ships the gauge with a locking pin in the back of the gauge that needs to be removed and the gauge will be good.

Now if you have installed the gauge and it was fine, but then its now inaccurate, you will need to send it to Autometer for calibration. Auto Meter
Attn Service
413 West Elm Street
Sycamore IL 60178

Autometer’s service form is located at:

Autometer’s phone number:

First gen Neon NA trick – seperating the lower water neck from the intake manifold

The first gen 1995-1999 Neon DOHC has an intake manifold that is cast as one piece with the thermostat water neck. Early 95 SOHC manifolds have aluminum manifolds as well but most 96-05 Neons with SOHC engines have a plastic manifold.

What this does, is transfers a lot of heat from the coolant that is typically 170-220 degrees into the intake manifold that is normally about 80-130 degrees. This causes the number one runner to absorb lots of heat and warm up the incoming air going into the motor more than we’d desire. One trick you can do, is to cut the water neck off the intake manifold and then weld a plate onto the water neck as you’ll cut into the water passage. You should carefully plan on the cut so that you can reuse the two lower bolts on the bottom and one of the upper bolts. We cut the lower bolt in half so that one bolt will secure the water neck and the intake manifold simultaneously.