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Old 11-29-2018, 01:46 AM   #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)
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Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
New Member Introduction

Hello all, Long-time member (since 2010) and 1st time posting. 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 Neons.org 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.

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Old 12-10-2018, 03:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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MetroMPG's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 22,472

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 55.97 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)

Appliance car - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage ES (base)
90 day: 72.89 mpg (US)
Thanks: 4,017
Thanked 6,904 Times in 3,581 Posts
Long-time member (since 2010) and 1st time posting.

Ha - that must be pretty close to a record for longest time to first post!

I assume from your intro that you've mostly been following the aero subforum in your interest for speed & downforce?
Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
Vman455's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Urbana, IL
Posts: 1,932

Pope Pious the Prius - '13 Toyota Prius Two
Team Toyota
90 day: 51.62 mpg (US)

Tycho the Truck - '91 Toyota Pickup DLX 4WD
90 day: 22.22 mpg (US)
Thanks: 198
Thanked 1,791 Times in 933 Posts
SRT-4 in a first-gen chassis? Pics! I learned to drive in a '95 Plymouth Neon, and loved the way they looked but hated the 2nd gen. I remember doodling Neon race cars in high school.

Negative lift and Cd <.30 is a tall order. You mentioned an inadequate cooling system, which will complicate that even more. I think you're looking at, minimum, a fully-ducted radiator (inlet and outlet) so you can keep cooling intake area to a minimum, a full belly pan, and a low front splitter, too low for street use or adjustable if you want to drive the car on the road. Avoid a rear wing at all costs, that will kill your drag coefficient.

UIUC Aerospace Engineering
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