Tag Archives: Neon 2002

Why you should keep your cam gear cover on your motor

2004 SRT4 with snapped timing belt

The photo above is of a 2004 Dodge SRT4, and you may wonder why the engine is sitting at an angle.

The reason is, the customer that owns this car has a very modified engine, larger turbo, cams, and cam gears. Most owners of cars who install cam gears typically leave the cam gear covers off so that they can adjust the cam gears easily.

The problem with leaving the plastic cam gear covers off, is your timing belt and other timing accesories can be damaged. In this particular case, the customers power steering belt flew off, somehow got lodged into the timing belt assembly and destroyed the timing belt. Thankfully the 03-05 SRT4 is a non interference motor that in case the timing belt breaks the valves wont slam into the pistons, and this customer had no engine damage because of his timing belt failing.

The 2.0 Neon motor from 1995-2005 are all interference motors so if your timing belt fails, then the valves will crash into the pistons and cause catastrophic damage.

Having shifting problems with your 95-05 Dodge/Plymouth Neon with manual transmission ?

Having shifting problems with your 95-05 Dodge/Plymouth Neon with manual transmission ?

We get calls often at Modern Performance from 1995-2005 Dodge/Plymouth Neon owners who have problems getting their manual transmission into gear, or even into reverse.

Sometimes, these problems can arise from shifter problems, but a very high percentage of Neon owners have problems with their manual transmission shift linkage bushings.

To better understand explain the problem, lets start out with the basics. Every manual transmission Neon has a shifter assembly inside the car, and two shift linkage cables attached onto it. The shift linkage cables go through the firewall and attach onto the transmission. The shift linkage cables are made out of steel, but the end of the shift linkages have rubber bushings that fail over time. Over time, your shifter will start to feel more and more mushy, and it will be more difficult to get the transmission into gear.

Heres a photo showing the shifter and the cables which are under the center console. The shifter bushings are pointed to in red, and the shift linkages are pointed to with yellow arrows.
95-05 Dodge/Plymouth Neon Manual Transmission shift linkage and bushings

Now, if you go to the dealership and try to buy replacement bushings, they arent sold seperately so you have to buy new shifter cables which will cost $130+! The solution to fix this, is with a product called Booger Bushings. Booger bushings are a set of four bushings that replace the two shifter bushings inside the car, and the two shifter bushings on the transmission.

Here are the Booger bushings:
Booger shift linkage bushings for the 95-05 Dodge/Plymouth Neon

Here is a photo of the same shifter above, with the Booger bushings installed on the shifter assembly.
Booger bushings installed onto a 95-05 Dodge Plymouth Neon

Here is a photo of the transmission with the booger bushings installed.
Booger bushings installed on the transmission of a 95-05 Dodge Plymouth Neon

Link to booger bushings on our website for more details:

Just for fun, heres a photo of a Neon where the shifter bushing disintegrated and fell off the car. This Neon still drove, but the driver would have a very hard time getting the car into gear!
95-05 Dodge Plymouth Neon with missing shift linkage bushing

Link to booger bushings on our website for more details:

Road trips, bottles and sweater-vests…

We’re going to take some time to look back and reminisce about cars and events in MP’s history.

98 Sport

A project vehicle that is long gone from the form that you see here was a real personal favorite and popular around the office. The 98 Dodge Neon Sport coupe was a no frills car with no options but equipped with the popular DOHC/5-speed combo. This car made the trip up to Neon 2002 along with the first Nitro Yellow Green project car. A nice sight out on the mid-western freeways, two first gens, NYG and Intense Blue, lasered northward for the place they were assembled, Belvidere, IL. The blue car had an exhaust that was rage-inducing for people driving behind it, although equipped with a catalytic convertor and resonator. The word loud does not cover the deafening tone, needless to say it stayed behind the lead NYG car for the trip.

The Sport was a basic bolt-on car with no internal improvements to the engine but wanting some more power and a little more to show at the Neon meet, a Nitrous Express kit was installed before leaving. The basic ten pound EFI kit was given a Gen-X upgrade and the bottle was upgraded to the carbon composite 12 pounder. Beyond installing the basic kit, the Gen-X package showers you with some nice accessories to improve safety and performance of the kit. The composite bottle, is well, just pretty sweet and the cost prohibitive nature makes for an exclusive showing in any trunk.

The racing venue that year was Great Lakes Drag Way and among the racers was fellow Texas resident Noah, a first gen super-enthusiast with a taste for perfection. A really clean cut chap, Noah did everything to the 9’s, automotive hobbies being no exception. His 96 base model Neon had been so tailored the suspension was now beyond ACR spec and the engine was now breathing through one of HRC’s turbo kits. Noah did his best Uncle Sam impersonation and looked at our Blue car saying, “I want you!”. After letting the bottle heater do it’s job we lined up the cars, Turbo vs Nitrous, and edged out the sweater vest sporting Noah in the car’s only drag strip performance on the bottle.

First gen Neons are where the majority of the enthusiasts who visit our site came from and where most of our staff drew it’s beginnings. With Belvidere Assembly’s Neon days over and age becoming an increasing issue, finding a good example of a “best-gen” 95-99 car is getting more and more difficult. The car was given up in favor of the Neon SRT-4 when it was released and although now parted out and in close to stock form, it is missed.

Hi. Bye.