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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, new to the SRT scene here. Wanted to show off my new whip and some quick initial questions. Not sure how active these forums are these days but hopefully some older heads come across this post cause i think i have a real gem on my hands!

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So it's a 2004 Neon SRT-4 and its already dyno tuned making close to 400whp with the help of a big Turbo (Garret GT3076R .63). That is not the crazy part. I bought this from the original owner that bought it new back in the day. Long story short this man built the whip all nice and did not even get much time to actually drive the thing. The car is currently sitting at 31,220 kms, which is about 19,400 miles! Needless to say the car is in quite immaculate condition. It was always garage kept and never winter driven. The underbody is essentially flawless. Without a doubt this is the cleanest car I have owned in my life. That being said, I do feel somewhat a sense of responsibility haha.
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I am trying to hand wash the car at least once a week. Is there any other general maintenance i should do to preserve the condition?
Also for all the big turbo owners, what are your spark plugs gapped to? Ive experienced some spark plug blowout during WOT. And actually what spark plugs should these cars even be using for big Turbo setups?
 

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Welcome! Please post up your questions on Google with "srtforums" in quotes, and you'll be able to answer a lot of your own questions. We don't say this to be rude or sarcastic, but it helps us to narrow down the number of threads overlapping with the same info. There are some truly amazing build, information, and how-to threads here at SRTForums out there just for the pickin'! :)

That being said, welcome aboard! That's a great looking SRT4, and I'm always happy to hear that someone wants to take care of a car the same way a previous own did.

I'm like the previous owner apparently was, except I've put more miles on my car (been to California, up to Detroit for Woodward, and I'm from the midwest) so I'm at 80k miles, but you'd never know it looking at the interior/exterior. For washing the car, I rarely have ever used automatic car washes, and ONLY touchless if I have no choice. If I have a choice, I like to go to the do-it-yourself wash, and use the wash and rinse only, if I'm doing a full clean. I make sure to go in underneath and blast the underside of the car, wheel wells, tires, wheels, and I never go full pressure into the radiator/a/c condensor.

Under the hood I carefully spray along the edges, top of the motor, I don't use the full pressure though, and never around the battery or fuse box.

Then I get the car home, pull out two 5 gallon buckets, mix the same amount of hot water/wax in both, and I use a new rag EVERY time. The first bucket is my wash bucket, the second my rinse. I'll start off pulling that rag from the wash bucket and going over an area till the rag is dirty or getting cool, then I squeeze out as much of the water as I can and I use the rinse bucket to clean the rag, before going back to the wash bucket to start the process over again. Remember, if you've done this right, you won't have a lot of dirt or grime on your car (should have gotten that at the car wash) you are mostly just getting that final layer of 'film' off the car, or stubborn bits of tar or road debris. I avoid gimmick products like abrasive sponges/rags to remove bugs off the front of the car, I just go in there and rinse it down, then a little elbow grease and those same rags I talked about above.

Then I get into the wax. There's so many good car waxes out there, just choose one that isn't overly abrasive that has good ratings. I use a damp application cloth to lay the wax down, then after it dries I use a dry cloth to clean the wax up in a gentle swirling motion, always by hand. Again, new rags. Admittedly I do have about 50 rags in my hallway closet in the house for dishes/showering, I'll reuse a rag to wash my nasty body off, but not my beautiful car hahah. I buy microfiber rags from a parts store or even Walmart/Target, they all seem to be pretty decent. Be careful with the ones that have tags though, those tags can be pretty abrasive.

The reason I never use a rag again after the first time is that they will get tiny bits of sand/debris/etc that a washing machine simply can NOT get rid of. I've argued with people before about this, especially those that have some expensive camisole re-useable rags, that's fine if they want to use them. I can tell you that after 16 years and 80k miles, my paint looks brand new.

I've owned my car since new, and I've only claybar'red my car twice. Each time it was astonishing how much crap came off the car. I honestly should be doing it again, she's due. On long trips sometimes I'll take a rag and put a light layer of WD40 along the underside of the rocker panels under the door. I've also used WD40 to clean off road debris that gets caked on after a long summer of driving. There is some argument about WD40 and paint but I have never had it damage anything, I don't ever use it like some people do on the hood/front of car (to help with bugs/road grime), there is some argument about WD40 as far as those areas. But along the underside of the car to prevent grime, or cleaning the underside, it's done wonderfully.

I can go on and on about detailing and so on and so forth, suffice to say it's a lot of work but it has been well worth it. I'm just bored tonite watching a youtube movie so thought I'd post up some tips.
 

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OH, forgot to add, even if your SRT-4 floormats are there and in good shape, get a second driver's mat, even a cheapie one, to put on top of the SRT-4 mat, that way you won't get the typical "heel-hole" in front of the accelerator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jheez man thanks for all those tips! I really do want to preserve the condition of the car. Def have to get more rags and cloths haha
 

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I second about skipping automatic washes. I really like the rinse cycle high pressure wands on the front to rid the car of bugs. I also use undiluted Dawn dish soap for build-ups of tar and the like around the wheel wells. I will also confess to using Dawn and a tooth brush in the engine compartment. LOL
 

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I second about skipping automatic washes. I really like the rinse cycle high pressure wands on the front to rid the car of bugs. I also use undiluted Dawn dish soap for build-ups of tar and the like around the wheel wells. I will also confess to using Dawn and a tooth brush in the engine compartment. LOL
Just be careful with Dawn and similar detergents on your clear coat. It isn't good for it. I started out for about a year after I owned my car new using dishwashing soap to get bugs off the front end, and you can tell it messed things up just a bit. Engine compartment isn't a big deal, that's just a single stage paint on most cars and as long as you are not using a rotary power buffer (not sure how you would do that on the engine but hey people do crazy snit!) you are probably okay.
 

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I use Murphy's Oil Soap for the tough spots on my car's exterior.
I also use it to steam clean the motor...
makes it smell good...
similar to Caster Oil from the old days.
 

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Oh no, I wouldn't recommend Dawn anywhere other than the wheel wells or the engine compartment/toothbrush situation I described. I hadn't thought of Murphy's Oil Soap... hmmm.
 

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am trying to hand wash the car at least once a week. Is there any other general maintenance i should do to preserve the condition?
Also for all the big turbo owners, what are your spark plugs gapped to? Ive experienced some spark plug blowout during WOT. And actually what spark plugs should these cars even be using for big Turbo setups?
Congrats on a low mileage Neon SRT-4 gem.
No need to wash it every week unless you get it really dirty. Less your paint gets touched the better.
.032 for spark plugs, NGK 4306 no blow out for me. 50 trim, 93 octane tune.

What fuel setup is on your car? What clutch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What fuel setup is on your car? What clutch?
So it's got RC 750cc injectors with pnp connector plugs, a Boomba Fuel rail, and a complete Walbro 255 with DCR bottleneck fix assembly. As for the clutch its an ACT with flywheel, I just don't know which exact one. I know its one of the street ones that maintain some daily drivability so I'm thinkin its like a Sprung 6 puck or something.
 
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