I don't think it will work. Something had to have changed because even Autozone and Advance Auto Parts show different starters for both vehicles. I wouldn't take the chance if I were you. You may mess up the flywheel and then you'll be in deep do-do.
Without the two starters next to each other, hard to say what the differences are. It may be nothing more than the wire connection/bracket that is different, but enough that the average person could not make it work. I don't think it is the gear that engages the starter that is different, that is a pretty standard part throughout the Neon history.
I installed the 95 starter on my 98 today with sucsess. There is a difference in the connector(not the big pluss- that is similar).
I managed to solve the problem without cutting the original connector off. I did that by just adding a wire to the original connector-wire, and using a flatpin-connector on the end. The flatpin will go into the 98 socket .
If you want to use a 98 starter on the 95 car(opposite of what i did) you will have to use a flat-pin that is narrower, - its only 3mm wide.
But thing is that the are interchangable with a little extra work.
By the way- my starter wasnt bad-the problem was the pluss-wire to the starter(looked good but was dead)
OK, good to hear. There may be a possibility that whole section could be swapped from starter to starter, or should I say, all the components swapped from inside the case to the outer case you need. That would be the next experiment in components, take the two apart next to each other and mic everything to see if there are differences internally. Sure would help in the future when it comes to finding/adapting new parts from a pile of junk, right?