Upgrading my Neon to an Srt-4

Neons we’re none too reliable. That’s why you see them so seldom now. I’d find something better to put my time and money into.

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I have never owned or driven a Neon, but I don’t believe that they were any worse than other economy cars of the day. The Neon was sold all the way through 2005, but they are a rare sight on the road today. I think the reason these type of cars disappeared so quickly is because owners didn’t maintain them, and aren’t willing to put significant money or effort into repairing them. Owners are willing to put significant money or effort into repairing a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, which is why even versions of these cars from the early to mid 1990s remain common.

Like almost everything else the Neon’s that are on the market are asking more than you’d think one would be worth. There’s a SRT with 188,000 miles on the market for just under $10K, The Neon was a fun car depending on which model but still a basic Chrysler product. I see quite a few PT cruisers but haven’t seen a neon around in awhile.

Turns out the first 5 years of Neons were ‘much worse than average’ for engines as far as CR was concerned, the last years were ok. i think there’s more than maintenance separating Neons from Civics and Corollas, ‘much better than average’ for engines, all years.

I see one every day, it’s in my driveway.
Make money repairing Japanese cars, save money driving a Dodge.

Most people with these cars don’t consider maintenance or repairs until the vehicle will no longer run. The 2.4 L engine in the PT Cruiser is a non interference engine, the 2.0 L Neon engine is an interference engine, when the timing belt fails engine damage is significant and the vehicle is scrapped.


Oh yes they were. Far worse then many of the domestics and magnitudes worse then any Asian vehicle of the day.

No…even properly maintained they were not reliable. A Scion or or Toyota or Nissan or Honda were far far far more reliable then this thing.

Where are you getting this nonsense from? Our first repair on my wife’s 1996 Accord was at 240k miles. A total of $4 for a knob. People keep Civic’s and Corolla’s because they are extremely reliable. Hundreds of thousands of miles by just following the maintenance schedule. Wear items like brakes, batteries, wipers are normal on all vehicles. So those items don’t count. I suggest you do some more research. What you’re posting is total bull.

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That’s the story that was made up to come up with some reason Toyotas and Hondas have been more reliable. Gotta have something to contradict the data.

I have seen this many times, people are willing to spend $5000 on a repair of a Toyota product because they are so reliable. When a customer with a 7 year old Dodge needs a $2000 repair they come to the shop and remove the license plates from the car.

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There was a common problem with the 1995-1997 composite head gaskets leaking oil, this fueled the “blown head gasket” reputation. Most were replaced during the warranty period with a multi-layer stainless steel head gasket.

Someone actually did that years ago when I was in college. Dunno who it was, but I saw the guy’s van at a car show. Had the normal V8 up front, and a Viper V10 in the back.

And I’ve seen just the opposite over and over again. People who “THINK” their Fords and Dodge’s were reliable as Toyota and Honda. But when comparing repairs…they are spending way way more and unable to keep vehicle past 150k miles without a major overhaul. My brother-in-law was one of them. Loved his Ford trucks and cars. But over the years when my wife and I were keeping our vehicles twice as long and 4-5 times the mileage as they were he started to question his thinking. We gave our 1996 Accord to their daughter when she in 2007 when she started college. It had over 250k miles on it. It was proven to be more reliable then their newer Ford pickups and cars. He finally saw the light and bought a Toyota pickup and then a year later he bought a Honda Civic for wife. He’s NEVER going back. Says the only thing he missed was the relationship with the Ford dealer service manager over the years. He’s never met the Toyota or Honda service manager yet.

Another thing I’ve anecdotally noticed is that GM/Ford/Dodge drivers sometimes tend to be less anal about their car’s condition. If the headliner in my car started drooping, it’d irritate me to no end. But there was an epidemic of GMs and K-cars with sagging headliner fabric back when those cars were still on the road.

If something breaks on my car, it drives me nuts until I fix it, even if it’s not really needed for the car to run. The guys talking about their indestructible Crown Vics, etc, might have lots of things wrong with them, but they don’t care and so they don’t consider that as part of the reliability picture. Whereas someone driving a Honda might get mad if a piece of interior trim detaches because Honda’s “supposed to be rock solid reliable and so they should do a recall!” In fact, didn’t we just have one of those threads on here this past week?

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I’ve spent less in repairs on my 2005 lesabre with 185k miles than I have spent on my 2013 Toyota Highlander with 150k miles. The Highlander had to have a converter replaced though. And I bought an oem converter, so it got expensive fairly quickly and that’s kind of an outlier, I will admit.

But…to state that a domestic can’t go 150k miles without a “major overhaul” is “total bull”, as you put it earlier.

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My parents owned a 1952 Dodge. It had a flat head 6 cylinder engine and a “lift and clunk” Gyromatic transmission. It really was a slug. My mother was teaching in a high school back in those days and a couple of students suggested to her that she should “drop in” a Dodge Red Ram V8. This would have been a relatively easy swap compared to the OP wanting to convert his Neon to an Srt-4. Of course, my mother joked about it. Since my parents needed two cars, they kept the Dodge and bought a 1954 Buick with a V8 engine and a manual transmission. That Buick was a fast car for that time period.
I was in high school at the time. On a date, I preferred driving the 1952 Dodge. With the bench seats and not having to shift gears, the sluggish performance of the Dodge didn’t bother me at all.

I think it’s just a personality thing, regarding the minor problems. I replaced the headliner in the Lesabre. My neighbor was commenting that he wouldn’t bother on “that thing” (referring to the low value car). The “world’s ugliest Tacoma” that I bought on the cheap had a leaking radiator, broken interior door handles, missing interior door panels (most likely related to the broken door handles!), and the carpet removed. I repaired it all for around $200, except for the carpet. I just put some large floor mats in there and it looked pretty ok, since it’s a really small cab anyway.

Some people have a detail oriented personality and little parts and pieces missing or broken would drive them (and probably me and you) nuts. Other people just stick push pins in the headliner and drive on lol. It helps if you’re able to, or interested in doing some of the work yourself, though.

The nagging details are what separate a “junker” from just an old car, though, in my opinion. The vehicles that I’ve flipped (back when I used to do that), people who looked at them would comment that “everything works” or “it’s so clean inside”. Well…yeah! I couldn’t stand it otherwise lol. Has to be a personality disorder :grin:

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Wasn’t the lil Red Wagon a pick up and not a van.

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Kinda both

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@Scrapyard-John Back in the 1950s, there was nothing better than the bench seat, the automatic transmission, and the A.M. radio tuned to Randy’s Record Shop from Nashville, TN for cruising with a date.


Better was a Nash when you stopped cruising and went parking at Lookout Point!