1995 Neon Engine Swap


Asked by Oct 10, 2015 at 02:08 PM about the 1995 Dodge Neon

Question type: Car Customization

So, I got a 1995 Dodge Neon.
Very possible the engine is bad, don't ask it is a long story. I don't want to
spend 2 grand rebuilding this engine. The car is torn up and worn out. So,
since it is sitting on my property and out of the way, I was thinking of having
some expensive fun. Time for a sleeper...

Give me a good reason not to? I have two 1981 Trans AMs and a 1978
Trans AM already. So, here comes the question...

What would be a good non-V8 motor to put in this car? I already expect to
change the suspension and rear end. I  was thinking of staying with
automatic, but I might switch to manual...

2 Answers


I am thinking of getting a 383 for it. I know it is a V8, but I just like the idea!

Try to find an srt4 that has been rolled, or otherwise totaled in the rear, etc, (as long as the front subframe is not damaged), and unbolt the whole subframe in the front,( its not as bad as it sounds, theres only like 6 bolts holding it on the mainframe, then struts, hoses, and wires), use the wiring harness, ecu, fusebox,( basically all the electrics, heck, use the dash and all so everything plugs up correctly), and thats the cheapest way to do the 2.4 swap. The 2.4 srt4 engine, trans, and suspension was designed as a V8 killer, they wanted to compete with cars like the Camaros and mustangs, and Ive seen them smoke camaros and mustangs all day long, while still getting decent gas mileage, (if u stay off the gas pedal), but when u floor it, theres a monster in there. If u install a different cam, higher pressure injectors&fuel pump, bigger turbo( with a boost box that u can program boost by gear),programable ecu( it will have a place to plug in a laptop and fuel/air/timing/boost/etc, by gear and rpm) and port&polish the head,( which u can do with a dremel tool, just make all of the intake and exhaust ports match sizes, its not as hard as u would think, the engine is basically a glorified air pump, so the object is to create more air flow and less turbulance/resistance of air flow, thus the reason for also polishing the intake ports after making them bigger, no need to polish the exhaust after its ported), of course u need bigger rotors(drilled for cooling and grip), calipers, and tires in front and back (put wider wheels and tires and use srt4 struts in rear too, if u increase horsepower over 500, get aftermarket high performance srt4 struts), then u will have a car that will run 8s at the drag strip with a decent driver, and still drop kids off at school. Make sure the rear is slightly higher off the ground than the front, both should be lower after the swap, but with a little higher rear, it distributes the weight more toward the center of the car and helps it stick those curves (at speeds that mustangs and Camaros can only dream about), raise the rear to bring the weight centered more toward the rear, or lower to center it more to the front until u have as close to 50/50 as u can get,( and by all means, put the same sized wider wheels and tires on the front and back if ur not going to drag it, they wont hang the curves nearly as good with giant slicks in the front and little ones in the back, theres a happy medium where it will drive like a rally car). A V8 would be mean in it, but that could actually hurt the performance, (especially in the curves), neons arent built to be rear wheel drive hotrods, and u would have to end up with only the body being a neon, but using the 2.4 with the upgrades I mentioned would be a perfect match for the neon, while still being 100% neon, and considering u would be making anywhere from 650-1,000 horsepower,(all depending on the turbo, ecu, and cam, although I would recomend adtermarket pistons and crank if u go over 650hp), u would break alot of hearts, those old hotrod V8 owners always underestimate those lightweight 4 cylinders with 600hp+, its the power to weight ratio similar to having 1500hp+ in a Chevelle, but with alot better handling in the corners, theres really not much that could stand against it in a street race other than another lightweight 4cylinder or V6,(u could also put a rotary engine in it, thats what alot of track guys do bc they make more horsepower per cc than a piston engine, but it wouldn't be a real neon anymore, and it could be double the cost of a 2.4 srt4 engine. You can get a fresh srt4 engine (factory specs) on ebay for around $1200-$2000 that has everything on it, and ready to bolt in, the stock srt4 aint no slouch, just an aftermarket ecu, turbo, and injectors can double ur horsepower, to sum it up, use the 2.4, u will be glad u did, and its alot more fun to drive, not to mention that the srt4 sells for $6k-$10k and up,( depending on extras), so u will maintain a decent resale value too. These are just some suggestions for u, either way u build it, be safe in that rocket,take care and God bless

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