1st Gen FAQ's - DodgeForum.com

1st Gen Neon 1995 through 1999 Neons

1st Gen FAQ's


Old 08-09-2006, 06:34 PM
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Default 1st Gen FAQ's

General Maintenance and Info

Q:When did the neon begin production?
A: Job#1 began November 10, 1993 and the neon was available January 1,1994.

Q: What type of spark plugs should I use and what gap?
A: Neon's work best with copper plugs, either stock Champion (RC9YC) or NGK Iridium and gap them to 0.035" for both SOHC and DOHC engines. The neon's waste spark ignition system sees no benefits nor gains from Platinum or Split-fire plugs. Do not waste your money on these, as they will still need to be changed every 10,000 miles.

Q: What type of fluid should I use in my transmission, auto or manual?
A: For an automatic, you should use Mopar ATF+3 or 4. There are some others that are supposed to meet the type 7176 specs and are: Valvoline ATF for Chrysler, Pennzoil 7176 ATF, and Quaker State 7176 ATF. I ONLY SUGGEST MOPAR THOUGH! For a manual, you should use the semi-synthetic fluid available at the dealer, p/n 4874465. Redline fluid is a cheaper substitute and works well.

Q: What oil should I use?
A: The factory recommended oil for both engines is 5W30. I personally use Mobil 1 5W30.

Q: What is the rev and speed limiter?
A: The rev limiter for the SOHC is 6750 RPM and 7250 RPM for the DOHC, unless it's an auto then it's 6750 also. The speed limiter is 118 MPH for all neons, except for the R/T and ACR which are governed at 130 MPH. The 95 ACR has no speed limiter. The Mopar PCM's speed limiter is 149MPH and the AF/x has no speed limiter as well.

Q: My Check Engine Light (CEL) is on, what do I do?
A: To read any codes on your neon, put the key in the ignition and cycle it to ACC on-off-on-off-on within 5 seconds. As the CEL flashes, count the number of flashes. This represents the code. An example would be flash-flash-flash-flash, pause, flash-flash-flash, which would be a Code 43, single or multiple cylinder misfire. A list of codes can be found HERE or HERE.

Q: I got my error codes and fixed the problem, how do I turn off the CEL?
A: You have two options: 1)Disconnect the fuel pump fuse (20a) from the PDC for about 5-10 minutes or 2)Disconnect the negative terminal on your battery for 5-10 minutes.

Q: What is the deal with the headgaskets on the neon?
A: The neon is notorious for headgasket failure due to poor material. The Multi-Layered Steel (MLS) gasket should be used and is far superior in quality. The MLS gasket went into production for the SOHC in September of 98, with the DOHC in November of '98. *Dates are estimated*

Q: I changed my spark plugs and one or all were full of oil, what's wrong?
A: Your spark plug tube seals need to be changed. It's an easy job and the seals can be bought from any auto parts store or the dealer. You will need to remove and replace your valve cover gasket as well.

Q: My trunk and/or back floorboard has water in it, what is wrong?
A: Most likely your taillight gaskets are letting water in. You can seal them with a clear RTV sealant or get a new pair of gaskets.

Q: What are the engine specs for the neon?
A: The SOHC is rated at 132HP @ 6000 RPM and 129 ft/lbs of torque @ 5000 RPM
The DOHC is rated at 150HP @ 6500 RPM and 133 ft/lbs of torque @ 5600 RPM

Q: What Octane should I use in my neon?
A: SOHC engines are rated for 87 octane and DOHC engines are rated for 92 octane, due to it's more aggressive tuning.

Q: My neon is overheating...what should I check?
A: There are several reasons: bad fan relay, low coolant, defective radiator cap, clogged radiator, bad Coolant Temperature Sensor (CTS), bad thermostat, radiator fans not working properly, headgasket leaking, radiator fins are damaged, and faulty water pump. (Info courtesy of spudsterier and FuzzRacer)

Q: What kind of coolant should I use?
A: I think any "decent" coolant should work as long as you mix it 50/50 with DI water and NOT TAP WATER. Tap water as it boils off will leave deposits in your radiator, that can lead to corrosion and/or clogging of the radiator. If you don't want to mix it correctly, buy the premixed coolant.

Q: What do these abbreviations or acronyms mean?
A: MTX=Manual Transaxle(transmission), ATX=Automatic transaxle(transmission), CAI=Cold Air Intake, UDP=Underdrive Pulley, CEL=Check Engine Light, PCM=Powertrain Control Module or ECU=Engine Control Unit, FMM=Front Motor Mount, FSM=Factory Service Manual, OBD=On Board Diagnostics, MLS HG=Multi-Layered Steel Headgasget, PCV=Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve, TB=Throttle Body, TSB=Technical Service Bulletin, WOT=Wide Open Throttle, PDC=Power Distirbution Center, N/A=Naturally Aspirated, FI=Forced Induction, OP=Original Poster.

Q: I heard that the Eclipse and Neon have the same engine, is this true?
A:No! The eclipse has a 420a engine and the neon has the ECC (DOHC) engine or ECB (SOHC). The DOHC neon engine was a joint venture between Lamborghini (YES, that's right) and Chrysler. Mitsubishi used the Neon engine in their non-turbo Eclispe, but reversed the head to put the exhaust manifold in the front. The 4g63 engine (turbo) was entirely designed by Mitsubishi in Japan and has no common parts with the neon.

Performance Questions and Interchangeability

Q: I am looking for a Mopar PCM, how do I know if I am getting one?
A: Here are the part #s for the different PCMs...P5007033 PCM(95 Neon SOHC), P5007034 PCM(95 Neon DOHC), P5007035 PCM(96 Neon SOHC), P5007036 PCM(96 Neon DOHC), P5007037 PCM(97-99 Neon SOHC), P5007038 PCM(97-99 Neon DOHC)

Q: I need a new harness what year harness can I use?
A: 95 is specific to 95 year neons, and 96 is specific to 96 year neons, 97-99 neon wiring harnesses are interchangable through the 97-99 years, though 97 is also a partial halfbreed harness that has some plugs which are a 95/96 style and some that are 97-99 style. 95-96 wont swap between the 97-99 years.When i say they wont swap, its more or less that they wont swap without doing some splicing. (info courtesy of spudsterier)

Q: My neon didn't come with a tach, can I get one with a tach and put it in?
A: Yes, you can get a cluster with a tach and swap it in. They are plug and play. I have heard that some early 95's didn't come with a tach wire, so you will have to check to see if you have one. Behind the cluster you should see a gray wire with blue tracer, that's the tach signal wire. If you have one, then it's plug and play.

Q: What other engines can swap into the 1st gen neon?
A: A 2.4 engine from a 95 to 00 Stratus, 96-00 Caravan, 01 & up PT Cruiser. The SRT-4 engine will swap in also. These are not direct bolt-ins and will require some modification, but they are very doable.

Q: What do I need to get the SRT-4 engine in my 1st gen?
A: You will need the engine, a 2.4 side motor mount adapter, wiring harness, and a NEW PCM that has not seen sentry, unless you are ready to swap the sentry stuff over also. You can eliminate the PCM and run the engine using Megasquirt. Don't know what that is, Google it!

Q: What transmission do I use with any of the swaps?
A: You can use either the 3.55 or 3.94 tranny (the 3.55 came with the SOHC and the 3.94 came on the DOHC) with any of the swaps, even the SRT-4 engine. You can use the SRT-4 tranny also, but you will have to be ready to cut into the bracing. I have heard that some people did not need to cut the bracing, but I think that would not be the case for everyone.

Q: Can I swap my rear drums to disc brakes? Are there any advantages?
A: Yes, you will need calipers, rotors, backing plates, brake lines, and e-brake cables. Disc brakes do not add more stopping power over drums, since the rears only do about 15%-20% of the braking. The drum brake setup is actually lighter than the disc brakes, although maintenance is a bit tougher. You DO NOT have to swap your master cylinder either.

Q: Can I swap in a manual transmission into my automatic and is it worth it?
A: Yes you can and will need the transmission, shifter, brackets, shifter linkage cables, passenger side axle, an MTX PCM, and a few other miscellaneous items. Best way would be to have a donor car readily available. Yes, it is definitely worth it!

Q: Can I swap a 4g63 (Turbo Eclipse) engine into my neon?
A: With enough time and money, YES. But it is not an easy swap at all. The 4g63 won't even swap into the N/A eclipse easily.

Q: What engine upgrades should I do to my neon for more power?
A: First, you need to ask yourself if you want to go all motor or forced induction, like turbo or nitrous. If you want to go all motor the first mod's are generally; Cold Air Intake (CAI), Underdrive Pulley (UDP), header, bigger throttle body (TB), better-flowing muffler, and performance PCM (Mopar or AF/x). After that you can get into cams, cam gears, pistons, and more. If you have an MTX, a cheap upgrade is the neon's ATX TB, which is 52mm as opposed to the 49mm MTX TB and also a DOHC muffler, if you have a SOHC engine.

If you would like to go forced induction, you have two options, turbo or nitrous. There is no supercharger kit for the neon. If you would like to go turbo, Hahn Racecraft sells kits for the neon ranging from $2300-$3000. If cheap and instant HP is what you want, then nitrous is your route‚€¶buy a kit and slap it on.

For more info, read this THREAD

Q: Are the eBay intakes any good?
A: They are flashier than the stock intake, but are no improvement over stock. They draw warm/hot air off the top of the exhaust manifold. A true CAI, should be located somewhere towards the front of the engine, like the Iceman intake.

Q: I don't want to spend alot of money on an intake, can I make my own?
A: Yes, some people use a 3.0L intake tube from mid-90s Chrysler V6, which can be found in a junkyard, attach it to the throttle body and use exhaust pipe to route it to the front or below the battery.

Q: Do those intake modules on eBay work? What about the electric supercharger or tornado?
A: No, there is no cheap HP out there. Think about this, if they worked, the fastest neons in the world be using them!

Will second generation seats or SRT-4 seats fit?
A: Yes, all the neons seats are interchangeable and bolt right in without modifications.

Handling Questions

Q: How can I make my car handle better?
A: Add sway bars, better struts, Koni's are the best, and some stiffer springs. Mopar used to sell Mopar high rates but are now discontinued. Strut bars don't help as much as people think they do, but do look nice.

Q: What are the best struts for my neon?
A: Koni's are the best, then KYB GR-2's come next.

Q: How do I lower my neon without losing comfort?
A: You really can't. Lowering your neon requires shorter, stiffer springs. The neon has very little jounce travel to begin with, so reducing it will make the ride more harsh.

Q: OK, I want to lower or better handling on my neon, what springs should I use?
A: There are basically two types of springs, linear and progressive rate. The more you compress a progressive spring the stiffer it will get, which are what most aftermarket springs are. Progressive springs leave you some comfort but still improves handling, while linear springs sacrifice comfort for superior handling. You have Mopar, Eibach, Dropzones, and Progressives to choose from. Remember that the Mopars are discontinued, but you may be able to find them at a dealer who might have them in stock.

Q: What about sway bars?
A: You can choose from Mopar, Eibach, or Suspension Techniques. All are good and will improve handling a great deal. Even stock sway bars will improve handling.

Tires and related info

Q: What is the bolt pattern on the neon and offset?
A: Some early 95's have a 4x100, all other's have a 5x100 with a 40mm offset.

Q: Will the SRT fims fit on my 1st gen?
A: Yes they will, but the SRT's stock tires will rub. You will need to run 205/40-17's or 215/40-17's. The 215/40-17's will give you a bit of a rim guard against curbing due to a little overhang....the 205's have no overhang, they are flush with the edge of the rims. (Info courtesy of spudsterier)

Q: Will other neon rims fit on my 1st gen?
A: Yes, the 2nd gen and SRT rims will fit on the 1st gen.

Q: What size tire should I use if I am getting bigger rims?
A: 195/60-14, 205/60-14, 195/55-15, 205/50-15, 215/50-15, 205/45-16, 215/45-16, 205/40-17, 215/35-18 are some common tire sizes that will fit.

Last edited by das2123; 11-07-2008 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:08 AM
Nuklhed074 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Ohio/Tennessee
Posts: 253

this is really good info man thanks for supporting and answering a ton of questions for anyone that would need it...its appreciated!
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:09 AM
Rt_cuz187 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Arkansas
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Yes i agree.. Extreamlly helpfull. Will an srt turbo manifold bolt up and work right on my 98 rt? If so will i have any problems with it and how much boost do you think the 2.0 DOHC can handle?
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:38 AM
Nuklhed074 is offline
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Location: Ohio/Tennessee
Posts: 253

around 8psi safely i would say and yes it will bolt up
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:09 AM
pegcitydude is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3

I have a 95 neon sohc and will be swapping in a 96 sohc engine will I need to do any other swapping like wiring harness or any sensors ?
the donor car is the 96 and I am sure I can salvage pretty much anything I need when I go and purchase the engine

Last edited by pegcitydude; 04-19-2011 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:20 PM
Logan338 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2
Exclamation Air Inlet Duct

I'm working on a '95 Neon and have three questions, 1) Where does the nipple coming out of the Air Intake Duct hook up to. 2) The blades that hold the 40 amp fuse to the ABS, one set is missing. Can I pull the top of the fuse box off to rewire(?) the blades in?. Some times with the key out, a high pitch whine comes from the right front of the engine compartment, near the computer?
Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:14 PM
krieger82 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2
Default One more question....

There are several replacement O2 sensors out there, ive heard that the standard Bosch replacement has fairly weak tolerances...in excess of + or - 5%. Is there an ideal O2 sensor replacement?
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:42 PM
Humpday95 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1

i have a 95 dodge neon dohc that has a fuel issue can anyone help.
im am about just sell it
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