How to rebuild your car’s engine with the help of a local machine shop.

Ok! One question we get asked often, is “How do I rebuild my engine”?

The process is fairly easy. Here it is highly abbreviated.
1) Order complete engine rebuild kit
2) Remove engine
3) Take engine to specialty automotive machine shop
4) Pick up assembled engine
5) re-install engine in your car

Now, it can be easy, but the more work you want to do on your own is what can make it complicated.

Want to have very little work on your own? Simple, take your car to a good local mechanic, they can remove the engine and take the engine to the machine shop.
The machine shop installs new bearings, pistons, rings, rods, whatever level of rebuild you want, and then the mechanic picks it up complete, and re-installs the engine.
This can get expensive though as the mechanic will be doing a lot of work. Figure for most four cylinder engines, you could spend as little as $2500, with most builds averaging about $3500-5000 depending on parts and complexity of engine.

Want to save money? You can buy parts, and have machine shop labor of about $1800-2500 for a really good performance engine rebuild kit with forged pistons, rods, camshafts, bearings, gaskets, etc. If you can remove the engine yourself, and then reassemble the completed engine, you could save nearly $2000 of labor or more. BUT, if you are not competent or have the right tools it could turn out to be a disaster.

When searching around for a good machine shop, we recommend typing in the name of your city in Yahoo or Google, and Automotive Machine Shop.
Look at some search results we found in Yahoo for Houston, TX:

automotivemachineshopsearchresuilts

Now, try to make sure you dont get results for regular repair shops. Make sure it shows engine rebuild shop, or machine shop in the title so you know you are dealing with a good machine shop that can fully assemble your engine and make sure everything is set up correctly.

Ed Peters and his Neon ACR headed to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Oct 2017.

We visited our friend Ed Peters and checked out his Neon ACR that is soon to be going to the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Ed Peters is a retired Chrysler engineer and Neon racer. We’ve really valued his input on Neons and SRT-4’s, and we’re excited to see him getting this first gen Neon ready to race at Bonneville. He is aiming to break 160mph.

There is still a lot more work to do on the car, but here are the current specs:
Neon ACR – previous factory Challenge race car. (used for last 15 years racing privately)
This car was factory built with no radio, no ac, no sound deadening.
2.0 dohc
Custom geared transmission to have better 3/4/5 gearing for the salt flats
Unknown brand coilovers
Spherical bushings in control arms

Photos:
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Check out these custom camber plates. These were made a long time ago, unknown brand.

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Neon guys will recognize the trunk wheels on this car.

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The legend himself, Ed Peters!

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Check out this cool license plate.

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2.0 Dohc engine.

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Check out this vin tag. Mr Peters told us that the factory ran 25 ACRS at once on the assembly line for the Neon Challenge series race.

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Mopar OEM engine belt splash shield for 2000-2005 Dodge/Plymouth Neons and SRT-4’s now in stock.

Mopar OEM engine Belt Splash Shield 00-05  Neon and SRT-4

Mopar OEM engine Belt Splash Shield 00-05  Neon and SRT-4

We now carry the Mopar OEM Engine Belt Splash Shield for the 00-05 Neon (incl. SRT-4).

This is the shield that protects the power steering/AC and alternator belts on the passenger side. If you are missing this shield, your belts and accessories will be coated in dirt, oil, water, etc and cause squealing noises, and accelerated belt wear.

Click on the images to jump to our product page for more information or to purchase.

Adjusting dampening level on BC coilovers

One question we get asked often is how to adjust the dampening of BC coilovers.
Its simple really.

BC coilovers are 30 way adjustable, which means they have 30 settings.
0 is full soft
30 is full hard

BC Coilover adjustment knob

All you have to do to adjust the dampening, is rotate the knob on the top of the strut. If you have shocks, sometimes the adjustment is on the bottom of the strut, and with cars with no access to the dampening knob, sometimes there are extension cables to adjust the dampening away from the top of the strut.

Anyways, this is a regular strut type assembly with the knob on the top.
Rotate the knob as far as it will go to the left until the knob stops. That is zero.
Then, rotate backwards or to the right to stiffen the suspension.

When we discuss numbers with BC coilovers we are frequently referring to the hardness setting.
For example, on our Dodge Dart, we have currently 8 front and 12 rear.
That means, we rotated the knob all the way to the left until it stopped, that is level zero, and then 8 clicks to the right for the level 8 on the front, and 12 clicks to the right for the level 12 on the rear.

OEM head bolts now in stock for the 95-05 2.0 Dodge Plymouth Neon Dohc and Sohc

For those of you Neon enthusiasts, oval track racers, drag strip racers using the 2.0 dohc and sohc Neon engine, we now offer a more affordable head bolt for those of you rebuilding your engine. We offer ARP head bolts as well, but those are more expensive and not in everyones budget.

So, here they are, if you want more information, just click on the photos to jump to our product info pages.

DOHC 2.0 Dodge/Plymouth Neon 1995-1999 OEM head bolts:
1995-1999 2.0 Dohc Dodge Neon Head bolts

SOHC 2.0 Dodge/Plymouth Neon 1995-2005 OEM head bolts
Dodge Neon 2.0 SOHC Engine Head bolts

Fix your loose/noisy door panels on your 2000-2005 Dodge/Plymouth Neon and SRT-4

Have you ever noticed how when you grab the door handle to close the door, the door panel can move a lot before the door even begins to close, and or the door panel makes squeaking noises as it flexes?

The reason for this, is the door pull cup (where you put your hand to pull) has a recess where the screw that anchors it to the door breaks apart. Then, after this piece breaks apart, the door panel has close to a half inch of play.

Some people have used a washer and a longer screw to try and tighten down the door panel but its not the best solution because the factory door panel mounting bracket is very flimsy.

We have come up with a awesome solution to fix this problem.
•A brand new laser cut steel bracket that is double the thickness that replaces the factory bracket. This bracket also has a support that goes behind the door pull cup to support the cup from the backside (unlike the factory bracket!)
•A precision made, black anodized aluminum spacer that fills up the gap in the broken door panel and a new screw to attach the door panel and spacer to the bracket.

The stronger, better designed bracket, and spacer really help to make the door panel a lot more solid, and eliminate squeaking noises from the door panel moving around when you close the door. This piece is fairly easy to install, it requires no cutting, or modifications. We also provide photo instructions for you.

Click on any of the photos below to jump to our product page for more details on this item.

MPx door panel fix kit 00-05 Neon and SRT-4

MPx door panel fix kit 00-05 Neon and SRT-4

MPx door panel fix kit 00-05 Neon and SRT-4https://vimeo.com/188057651

Dodge SRT-4 and spark plugs!

When modifying your 2003-2005 Dodge SRT-4 and 2008-2010 Dodge Caliber SRT-4, you need to not forget one major part of the fuel/air/ignition mix..

Spark plugs!

We hear from a lot of customers that bump up boost with the Diablosport tuner, but do not change their spark plugs, and then they have misfiring and hesitation. Why? Well, once you have more boost, you have higher heat, and you need spark plugs that can handle the pressure.

The NGK Iridium plugs are fantastic for the SRT-4.

NGK Iridium plugs

NGK Iridium plugs

Now onto the second part of this important topic.. Heat ranges!
A spark plug that works well with 10 psi, wont work very well with 20 psi.
So, its important to keep in mind heat ranges when choosing plugs.

If you are increasing power by about 30-85 horsepower you should go with one range colder plugs.
If you are increasing power by roughly 100 horsepower or more then you should go with two range colder plugs.

Check out the range of NGK Iridium plugs ModernPerformance.com has here:
http://www.modernperformance.com/category/s?keyword=NGK+Iridium

Fuel injectors and the 03-05 Dodge SRT-4 / 08-10 Dodge Caliber SRT-4

One topic we go over frequently, is fuel injectors and the Dodge SRT-4.

A lot of customers seem to think they need to put larger injectors on their SRT-4 to make more power.
In most cases, this is not true.

Why? Well, the SRT-4 runs very rich under full throttle, and so unless you have changed the turbo, in almost call cases, you do not need to change injectors.

If you do end up changing injectors, in most cases, you need to flash the pcm to make sure it has the right calibration to properly use the injectors.

If you just install larger injectors on a factory pcm, your SRT-4 will run super rich, and you’ll end up losing a lot of horsepower. You can use a Diablosport/SCT tuner and a custom tune to accomodate for larger injectors. Or, you could use a fuel return line kit and adjust the fuel pressure to accomodate for the larger injectors.

For more fuel needs for your SRT-4, check out http://www.modernperformance.com/

Roger from Ohio has a sweet asphalt oval track race Neon!

Roger from Ohio has a 2.4 1995-1999 Neon that he races in Ohio. He races at an asphalt oval track in an outlaw class which is where anything goes except turbo or nitrous.

He’s got a high compression engine with lots of goodies and his Neon does very well in this class. Onto the pics!

Roger’s got a Dodge Avenger fiberglass front end custom installed onto his Neon. He had to shorten the width 12 inches to fit onto his Neon!
Asphalt oval track Dodge Neon racer - Roger

Asphalt oval track Dodge Neon racer - Roger

Asphalt oval track Dodge Neon racer - Roger

The rear is a fiberglass Firebird rear end custom installed on his Neon.

Asphalt oval track Dodge Neon racer - Roger