Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Engine Swap a Dodge Neon

Is it possible to swap out a dodge neon enginge (Not a Srt-4) and fit a 305 Chevy small block engine in it???

Absolutely possible. I have seen small block Chevrolet engines in motorcycle frames, that run and can be ridden.

wat wuld i have 2 do (I know these must be easy ass questions but im just starting out in the Car world) wuld I have to push the firewall back? I alrerady know that i must upgrade the front suspension and im going to try to figure out how to switch my front wheel drive to rear wheel. AWD sounds good also but im a rear wheel guy who likes the wider tires in the back.

I am going to bail on providing design on this project. You will learn a lot.

Possible yes? cost-effective? no. The amount of fabrication involved in this would be staggering. You’ll probably have to covert the car to rear wheel drive as well. It won’t be street legal at all. And it won’t be all that fast either. You’re looking at spending at least $20k for the project at a minimum maybe even double that.

All you have to do is completely re-engineer, and then rebuild, the entire car. Sounds like a fun weekend project. Send pics of your first smoky burnout.

I’ve seen people put 350’s in a Chevy Vega. So it’s POSSIBLE. But it’ll take a LOT of work. You’ll have some MAJOR obstacles to overcome.

. Beefing up the front frame assembly to handle the increase weight.
. Finding a trans axle that will bolt up and can handle the power.
. Fodaddy makes a good point about converting it to RWD…Which I think is the ONLY way it could work…And that in itself is going to be a nightmare.

. About 2-300 more.

A 302/305 is a popular swap for the Miata, so it should be possible for a Neon.
Would any SANE mechanic tackle this job, probably not.
Engine cost
new Transmission
custom made drive shaft
new suspension all around
new motor mounts
better brakes
and probably more items

Cosworth made a conversion kit for the Vega. They became commonplace. Cool, but commonplace. The motor fit in the compartment perfectly. Rumor at the time was that Chevy was considering doing a smallblock V8 version and had designed the front end to fit it in, but abandoned the idea when the Vega’s poor reliability record smudged it’s marketability.

I think a 305 Chevy in a Neon will present a whole different level of challenge. Your points and the points of others are spot-on. This thing would basically need to be a Neon body on a custom built chassis. Possible, but not cheap.

The Miata is RWD to start with, on a fairly robust chassis.

The rear of the Neon is a unibody area designed to withstand free rolling rear wheels with a light load, unconnected to the power train except via the body. I can’t envision that setup supporting a rear end that would withstand the stresses of a 305 and the new drivetrain. And the hump is just place to run the exhaust. Put a driveshaft there, if it would even fit, and where are you gonna put the exhaust?

My guess is that a whole new chassis would have to be contsructed under the Neon.

Before you do ANYTHING, check your local emissions laws. If this car will require an emissions inspection, forget about it…The bureaucracy just can’t deal with engine swaps…

IF (big IF) you want to have more horsepower in your neon, one word TURBO!!
And I’d guess with the SRT Neons out there you would probably have the ability to upgrade the brakes and suspension also.
It is always fun to have a sleeper and blow unsuspecting ricer’s away

Anything is possible given enough time, aggravation, and money. This will not be an easy job to accomplish and there’s not enough bandwidth to explain what it would take; including the multitude of engineering glitches you will run into.
It’s going to be strictly a figger it out yourself deal.

There’s also going to be some huge drawbacks.
The first is the old “weak link in the chain” theory. You can kiss the transmission goodbye when you nail it. Beef the trans up and you can then kiss the halfshafts goodbye; if that doesn’t happen at the get-go.
The second is that torque steer would be so bad the car would likely be undriveable.