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.