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Old 11-09-2018, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4

Rally beater - '05 Dodge Neon SXT
90 day: 25.32 mpg (US)

SRTMiniMe - '95 Dodge Neon/SRT4 Former sport coupe, now SRT-swapped
90 day: 10.02 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Moveable Front Splitter (and introduction post)

Hello all, Long-time member (since 2010) and 1st time posting. Sorry for the long read, feel free to skip to the end. I've lurked for quite a while and have finally set upon the task of front-cutting my weekend racer toy car project.

It's currently 2360lbs, 2.4l turbo 5-spd that makes 240hp/250tq with 80%+ power available from 2800-6100 RPMs. It's a blast on the street, can cut a 0-60 in 5.5 seconds (on a hot day with tires up to temp), run the 1/4 mile from a standing start in 12.31 @ 113mph and cover the 1st 60ft in 1.59 seconds. It was a good start and my first engine swap so the learning curve was steep, but a great introduction to automotive modifications.

I originally started chasing the automotive dream in 2005 when I purchased my 1st manual vehicle. At the time was a thriving forum and I learned a lot from Veteran mechanics and die-hard enthusiasts. I lurked until '07, gathered parts until fall of 2009 when the economy finally decided I needed to spend more time outside of work. I went back to school and in between classes started the build completing ~95% of the work myself in the summer of 2011. My build, SRTMiniMe, was based on a 2005 SRT4 engine/wiring/ECU take-out from a Police Auction in Reno with 5600 miles on the clock. The chassis was a 1995 Dodge Neon Sport Coupe that was originally exported to Canada in '96. The Build date was after the model year, which I've never seen before, but the electronis for '95 were a 1-year only deal so maybe it was excess inventory no longer suited for US inventory. This allowed for OBD-I diagnostics and a mis-matched ECU but would pass a tail-pipe sniffer test with flying colors (new high-flow cat) so I would pass DEQ with ease.

I drove the car hard for nearly 20k miles, multiple drag races, tons of highway miles and a speed test on a deserted highway that told me anything above 100mph makes the front end lift considerably. Full-on parachute status. In 2013 I figured I had enough testing complete to attempt a national trop to Cincinnati from Portland Oregon. 6300 miles later I had taken a side trip to see a cousin in Atlanta and then through Colorado Springs for Pikes Peak on the way back. Many issues cropped up but I was loaded with tools and backup sensors and only fought an overheating issue due to a bad cooling system design.

Then in 2014 I drove from Portland Oregon to Detroit Michigan, then back with two long-blocks strapped to the passenger floorboards (seat removed). On the way out I broke the custom motor mount adapter somewhere just outside of Omaha entering Iowa and with some local help had it welded and back in place by noon the next day. In the process the passenger side of the motor fell down with the downpipe landing on the steering rack and the passenger axle landing on the front portion of K-member (control arm/steering mount). That collapsed the flex pipe down to about 1.75" and broke/bent three of the four bolts holding the downpipe to the turbo. Surprisingly the car still ran decent and I managed 31mpg overall on that trip, lowered with a garden edging front lip addition and 185 width 400 tread wear tires.

I loved that car and knew more power was in it's future, but due the transmission giving up the ghost by digging the shift shaft into the housing I knew it would need a rebuild first. I stepped up to a non-turbo 5-spd from the heavier 2nd gens so my ceiling is now ~500tq, but the bigger bang for the buck is going lighter and leaning on aero for additional help. So much like how I began this project, dreaming of something bigger than I think I can tackle, I'm going to move forward with a full aero and caged conversion with a goal of 1800lbs and 0.25-0.30 coefficient of Drag and a decent amount of downforce above 100mph.


I'll include pics once I reach my post limit. Currently have chassis torn down, drivetrain rebuilt, brakes/kuckles/hubs redone, modifying intake/exhaust, designing Front-cut. The design phase is probably my favorite aspect of invention. Start with defined goals and existing geometry, then introduce known componentry and mold the design to fit.

If you're still reading the moveable splitter has been mostly finalized and handed off to my welder last week. It includes uprights for pivoting pin mechanisms, the leading 2/3s of edge and some support stiffening panels. More bracing needs to be designed and paneling to catch the air. It'll make more sense once I start posting pics. I have looked around for tips on paneling, lightweight and reasonable in price, but would prefer some direction if you know of any good links?

Thanks and Happy Modding!

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