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Neon Refresh (2nd gen) - Why no 2.4 Liter Engine?

Discussion in 'Neon' started by tomit, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. tomit

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    Never could understand why the non-turboed 2.4 liter engine was never an option. My only complaint when driving a rental was the vibration at idle and the pickup. The 2.4 could have cured both problems, IMHO, and gas mileage would not have been much worse.

    Or at least, putting a balance shaft in the 2 liter engine, instead of the upper 'engine control' mount.

    Tom
     
  2. Stratuscaster

    Stratuscaster Vaguely badass...
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    Money. 9/10 times, it comes down to money.

    Recall who was calling the shots at that time. If they forced crank windows in the rear on EVERY Neon model regardless of trim, it's no surprise they wouldn't/didn't OK the NA 2.4 to be used.
     
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  3. ImperialCrown

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    Although the 2.0L DOHC did not make it into the 2nd gen Neons, a high-output 2.0L was available for them. It was identified by a number '8' in the VIN.
    The 2.4L in the SRT4 was kept exclusive, which the front of the engine was so close to the right frame rail that the right motor mount was actually placed inside the frame rail.
    It would have complicated things more than necessary having to certify the 2.4L NA for the Neon.
    Although the extra torque would have been welcome, it wouldn't have made the car that much faster.
     
  4. massjwjm

    massjwjm New Member

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    So, has this swap been accomplished?
     
  5. tomit

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    IC, would a 2.0 with a balance shaft fit, or is that what causes the extra length of the 2.4?
     
  6. ImperialCrown

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    It has been done. Acquiring a donor car is the best place to start. The 2.4L is larger than the 2.0L and mount, accessory, wiring, exhaust, etc. modifications may be needed. It would be best to discuss this with someone who may have already 'cloned' a base Neon into an SRT-4. An SRT-4 donor car that has been crashed may be hard to find. You would need to virtually be the first one on the scene before it got stripped. They are in demand.
    There are Neon clubs for racing and show. The 10th element is serious about Neons. Some of them get a little crazy and that is OK.
    A 2.4L non-turbo may offer noticeably more torque than the 2.0L, but is a lot of work for the net results. There are V6 Neons that have been done and I'm sure that it was a lot of work to accomplish. If this is still going to be your daily driver and you have to meet state emission and safety requirements, then you still have to keep it both legal and dependable.
    I found a 'Rallye' cluster out of a Neon R/T for my '96 that had the tach and swapped a 5-speed for the automatic, but I left it a 2.0L.
    Going to stick-shift from an automatic made a big difference in performance for me. I could now use the Mopar Performance PCM without the 'ck eng' light staying on. It definitely gave the car some seat-of-the-pants 'snap'.
    http://www.allpar.com/mopar/2.html
    http://www.allpar.com/mopar/24.html
     
  7. massjwjm

    massjwjm New Member

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    Very nice crown, I dream of a non turbo 2.4 5 speed neon with a cruiser as the donor
     
  8. Stratuscaster

    Stratuscaster Vaguely badass...
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    I've seen some 2.4L engines swapped into Daytonas as well.
     
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  9. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    At neons.org they have documented several 2.4L swaps into the 1st Gen, I'm NOT sure about 2nd Gen.

    Like IC said, it requires a lot of improvising, customization and fabrication, figuring out a lot of challenges. Doubtful they are reliable either, things that are improvised rarely are. But far be it from me to deny someone a Hobby Car to do with anything they darn well please.

    I know there are folks that know far more about it than I, but one of the most popular mods for the 2.4L motor is too cut the chain for the balancing shafts and recover the 5 or 6 HP it takes to spin them with the motor. Everyone that did it, stated the increase in NVH was NOT or barely noticeable.

    Doing performance mods on the existing 2.0L might be a more viable answer for more power than an engine swap in an era of car that makes engine swaps incredibly difficult. But, it can and has been done.
     
  10. Braver69

    Braver69 Member

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    Personally I like the 2.0l better than the 2.4l for performance. Balance shafts just add more weight and drag on the engine, in exchange it smoothes the engine out, also it can hurt your rpm redline. With the right work done on that 2.0l you can easily hit the power of a stock 2.4l and beyond.
     
  11. ImperialCrown

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    I have driven the heavier Stratus and Breeze with both the 2.0L and the 2.4L. Both engines had enough torque to pull the car around. The stick-shift really helped the 2.0L come alive.
    If I didn't know before-hand which engine was in the car, I would be hard pressed to tell the difference.
    The 2.0L was listed as an option for the PT Cruiser, but I have only seen them here with the 2.4L. The 2.0L (and diesels) were probably for export only.
     
  12. tomit

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    IC, so the NVH was basically the same for the 2.0 and 2.4 in the Breeze? Maybe the Neon needed a stouter mounting platform to help with the vibration. Anyway, all posters made good points. Thanks.
     
  13. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    It might have had more to do with the longer stroke of the 2.4L as to why they added balancing shafts and NOT add them on the shorter stroke 2.0L.

    One of the most popular mods for the Neon, which I did, was to stiffen up the motor mounts, accept a little NVH in trade for better control and traction of having the transaxle more steady. Can't comment on the 2.4L, but on the 2.0L Neon, the engine was extremely smooth, but like most inexpensive FWD cars, which also are more likely to have younger aggressive drivers, the motor mounts degraded quickly, tore and you'd get lots of NVH. Replacing the motor mounts would bring it back to stock NVH, but how many people take care of their cars well enough they are inspecting and diagnosing bad motor mounts.
     
  14. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I swear the majority of 31TH automatic trans failures in the Neon came from kids trying to imitate Manual Trans Neon's (that could spin wheels quite easily) by doing neutral drops with their automatics. But that is the natural result of an inexpensive car, it will find itself in the hands of the young and immature that have to learn the hard way.

    How many Neon SRT-4 are left on the roads? I think almost all of them have been wrecked. 270HP Turbo motor in a 2800lb car, at a price barely more than a base economy car, ummmmmm, is anyone surprised at the result?
     
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  15. Braver69

    Braver69 Member

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    I have a spare neon performance transmission that they used on the ACR version. That transmission alone will wake up the car.
     
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  16. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    I have a 93 Daytona with the 2.5L TBI engine and, of course, balance shafts. At about 200K miles I took it to a safe place and tried out its maximum speed.

    It reached 115 mph at 5200 RPM easily, with still more than 1/4 throttle travel left. At that point the ECM was making the engine cut out.

    I did not experience any limitation due to balance shafts.
     
  17. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    I think the only effect the balance shafts would have is a small (maybe not even really noticeable) decrease in how quickly the revs build up. It would still rev to the same RPMs just momentarily slower getting there.
     
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  18. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    And negligible, they take only about 3 hp, same drag as A/C compressor at most.
     
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  19. Stratuscaster

    Stratuscaster Vaguely badass...
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    Yes - drop the balance shafts AND the A/C and you get 6HP! Then delete the power steering!

    And eventually end up with a car you will never get your money out of, let alone something someone else would even consider buying,
     
  20. tomit

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    I just figured that the 2.4 with more torque and smoother running should have been a premium option for the 2nd gen Neon, which handled and braked so well. If it didn't fit without major revisions, it's understandable why it wasn't offered.
     

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