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Another 13 year veteran here. Bought the car Nov 10th 2003. It has been my DD ever since. There are a lot of great stories that go with her but I think my two favorite have less to do with the car itself and more with how my life changed with it. I lived in Denver for awhile and my girlfriend(now wife) was going to school in Brookings SD. It was a 500 mile drive one way once a month to go see her. I remember wishing I had installed Cruise like some of you guys but I had put stage 2 with toys on her and it wasn't a good option anymore. Those trips were were made bearable by the ability to dip into the throttle whenever needed and have an such an abundance of power at the ready. Married in 2005 and wife and I got a little to carried away(hehehe) and baby on the way almost right away. Sitting in my car for 4th of July fireworks 2006(it was raining cats and dogs) and listening to music was the first time my baby girl kicked in my wife's tummy. She came home from the hospital after delivery as well. Long story short I've got another kid and still Daily Drive her. My kids are 8 and 10 and still love to go for a ride in daddy's car as does the wife. This little car that everyone said would fall apart in a year or two has outlasted 3 of my wife's cars and is the only daddy car my kids have ever known. I will drive her till the wheels fall off and my drivers seat falls through the bottom of body pan. Im glad to see that there are others out there who still feel the same way. Sad to see this forum dying in the process though. Thanks guys for the memories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Cruise control made a huge difference for me.

On the way back from California in 2006, I did three 10+ hour stretches 3 days straight, by the third day it felt like there were spikes poking into the bottom of my right foot and my right ass cheek (odd yes).

I did about half of my install one weekend, then I think I didn't get around to the actual throttle body adapting until about a month later. I used a brand new Mopar kit for a 2003-05 Dodge Neon. Upon completion of the install, the car ran at about 3500 rpm, and I was freaking ticked off. I had been working on it for about 6 hours already that day and wanted it done.

My Dad kind of chuckled (which didn't help my attitude at all) and asked "Are the cables binding up?" referring to the throttle and cruise control cables. I responded NO angrily, and he walked up, shut the car down, pulled the throttle body cam up, spun the cruise cable out, and restarted the car. 900 rpm, normal.

Turns out distance from the cruise control canister to the throttle body is different in the standard Neon than in the SRT-4, so I had to cut about an inch out of the plastic tube that the cable ran through in order to keep it from binding up. After that, put the cruise cable back into the throttle body cam, and she ran normal, 900 rpm.

My dad's only comment "In diagnosing a problem with any project, always start with the easiest possible fix, saves a LOT of time".

It's something I've remembered ever since.

Of course, it probably helped that about 10 years before, while working on a 1988 Lebaron GTC (turbo) convertible, we spent hours dropping the fuel tank to replace the fuel pump, then the fuel filter, only to find out afterwards (when the car did not start) that it was the map sensor, which of course sits on top of the engine, with two screws and two vacuum hoses. That took less than 60 seconds to fix.

Lesson learned.
 

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RTShadow - great story!

A few more...

I had such a blast with this car during my drag racing years. Ran with Stage 1 plus various supporting mods for a long time. Tried to go cheap, and wound up adding / removing many mods that gave nominal gains but were somehow annoying or a PITA.

Ex: Started with a manual cutout. Got tired of getting under the car at the track to open it. Added electric version. Woohoo! Could open and close it from inside the car... until it got wet and stopped working. Final, current version is a MaxxFab side exit exhaust with resonator and high flow cat. Great flow but not too noisy at idle, and no maintenance. Worth every penny.

Worked my way up to Mopar Stage 3 and slicks, but honestly, had more and better races with Stage 1 and drag radials. Consistently ran the earlier setup in the low to mid 13's, but was more likely to get a fun/interesting run at the track vs. other street cars. When you run slicks, they'll line you up against anything in the 9-12 second range, and those cars are much more likely to lose control and fly out of their lane than a street tired car. Most of them kicked my ass, too. :lol:

Lost my share of head-to-head races at Thursday Test 'n Tune nights, but won many memorable races against Mustangs, Camaros, and lesser Vettes, especially on the earlier setup with Stage 1 and drag radials.

A few memorable ones:

Ran against a late 90's Vette and beat it by several car lengths. I'll never forget the look on the owner's face after losing to a Neon -- so sour I thought he was going to implode. :rofl:

Lined up in the street car lanes another day, and talked to the guy lined up next to me while we waited for a brief track delay. He was very nice. "I recently bought this 2001 Corvette, and it ran 13.1 on my first day at the track!", he said proudly. "Interesting", I said. "My best time is also 13.1".

He looked at my car and said, "What the heck is that?", so I told him. He didn't doubt it, but looked a bit shocked.

A while later, we pulled up to the staging lanes, warmed up the tires, and launched. We were very close the first 100 feet, then he dropped back, and I beat him by at least a second. Talked to him afterward... he missed second gear, and had to re-engage it. I'm sure he psyched himself out once he realized he was running against a 4-cylinder econobox.

Next week I saw him again, but did not line up with him. He added a few mods and was already running low 12's.

Another time, I lined up against a pickup truck that had a bunch of running lights. It had a full roll cage, and looked very fancy and fast. The driver wore a full face helmet and fire suit. I figured he would crush me. Instead, he ran a 17.5 or so. I wondered if it broke down, or he missed a shift. No... he ran many times that night, all in the 17's. Very strange.

It's also fun to watch other cars run at Test 'n Tune. One evening, I was standing by the fence, right next to the staging lanes. This guy pulls up in a Semi tractor with a large rocket engine attached to it. It's an exhibition truck. Of course, no one is lined up next to him. He fired up the rocket engine and a 20-foot flame roared out the back end. The sound wave nearly knocked me off my feet. This monstrosity FLEW down the track, he shut down the engine at the 1/8th mile mark, and it still trapped 175 mph in the quarter. Wow.

So many good memories from this car. It will be 14 years old next month. :D
 

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great story, i think i remember reading some of your first posts.. i came over here in 2003/4? from neons.org. I have had a neon since 1997. i picked mine up in august of 03, as a repossession from hanford doge, in hanford california.. Shes got 90k miles and many trips across the country.
 

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Just bumping to say this is a great thread! Congrats on keeping the car in great shape, she is a beaut! I cant believe a stage 3 sat in a box for 6 years but it should increase the value instantly correct? Such a KA license plate too. There is a guy in my town that has his as "SRT4ME"
 

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As a 10 Year fan, first time owner I should say thanks for being every bit how I imagined the car would be. At least all that time thinking about it was not wasted. Even though I missed the party we are just getting started. Im looking forward to the future w this car. I love how rough and raw around the edges it is. For the price and adrenaline rush, just cant beat the SRT-4.
 

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After 13yrs from owning my first 04' silver in 05, got busted street racing. (Racing my buddy in his 99 Saleen, yes he lost) 6 month probabtion, fuel prices skyrocketing, and a seperation(Got repoed) missed it so much. Bought an 03 w/04 trans kind of built. Drove it for 15k miles then sat in garage for 8yrs. Now just picked up a fully built 05 Orange blast w/23k miles. So this makes my 3rd SRT4. Love these cars, becoming more rare everyday. Never get enough of my SRT4. Best pocket rocket ever built
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Mine is sitting in the garage, hasn't moved since November. Had to charge the battery the other day, it was dead lol.

NEVER buy a Walmart charger, never again! Tried two of them, so called "smart chargers", they won't charge the battery if it doesn't have a residual charge. WHO BUYS A BATTERY CHARGER FOR A BATTERY THAT IS NOT DEAD??? UGH!!

But, I digress... in my rambling thread in Gen Discussion, I am detailing my work on a 2002 Neon. Probably should have dumped that car at the local U Pull It for 350 bucks, but, I decided to go for it, change the engine out, and get that old girl on the road. If for no other reason at this point than it is teaching me a TON about the SRT-4.

Hopefully I'll get this 2002 sold then I can focus some more on my SRT-4. Although, my father wants an engine put into his 2002 long bed 2500 2wheel drive cummins ram haha. Maybe I'll push the SRT-4 back another 6 weeks?
 

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Original owner here. Got my 05 in september 04 and stiiill running strong and taking names. 88kmiles

Car wouldnt be running this good for ao long if it wasnt for the forums.

*RTshadow your my join date buddy!*
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Original owner here. Got my 05 in september 04 and stiiill running strong and taking names. 88kmiles

Car wouldnt be running this good for ao long if it wasnt for the forums.

*RTshadow your my join date buddy!*
Haha, pretty close, you were 22 June, I was 01 June. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, other times a hundred years :)

Wouldn't change a thing... loving life!
 

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It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years already with this car. Purchased in May 2006, drove for the first time November 2006 (more on that later). Okay, so a little more than 10 years. I meant to post this up earlier, I have some time now :grin:

I bought my SRT-4 sight unseen, unless you count the internet. I was in Iraq in 2005/2006. I wanted an Electric Blue pearlcoat SRT-4, and looked all over. It was May 2006 though, and that color was the feature 2004 color. I wasn't a big fan of the Orange Blast (sorry those of you who have them, just not my thing heh heh), and finding a blue was turning into an impossible process.

The local dealer had some interesting SRT-4's though, 2005 Commemorative Edition. I looked them up, found the info on here interestingly enough. HemiDakota had a thread discussing them. I called the dealer, he said they had three of them, 69, 70, and 71. He said he'd find the one with the lowest miles for me, but once he said they all had under 12 miles, I said "I'll take #69 ", you know, because that pervert inside of us always has to spring forth from time to time >:)

My buddy picked the car up, and put it in storage. I remember sitting in Iraq reading about what all the guys on this forum were up to, studying, taking notes about upgrades, what addon parts to buy. October 2006, had about a month left in Iraq, so I ordered BWoody HBrace and traction bars, and an Aeroforce Interceptor gauge. I can remember wondering if I was more excited to come home and see my wife...

...or my car. I can't really answer that question to this day haha.

November 2006, finally home, headed to my buddies place. Backing the car out of the storage facility... jamming the brakes hard and catching my breath when I looked in the rear view mirror...

Oh shit, that's just that f'ing wing!!! WHEW!!! (that took about a week to get used to back there, not going to lie).



In his garage, drilling, under 60 miles on the vehicle and already putting parts on it. The traction bars and HBrace installed, gauge set up in the car. Taking it out later that night to head for home.

Same night, my first stoplight pull!!! Sorry Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, you never really had a chance :grin:

Driving cross country to California, wife was still stationed at Camp Pendleton...

On that trip, my first photobucket picture:



Among others:





Spent three months in San Diego. Discovered that every idiot Marine out there seemed to own a Toyota or Nissan pickup truck, and all they ever wanted to do was street race... and lose. Found out about Fontana, went up there several times. Met up with the Southern Cal San Diego SRT-4 crowd at one of the meets, great time! Then found out she was getting out, headed back early with a car load of stuff to Nebraska





Nebraska weather was considerably different than California weather in January



Discovered that KDW2 tires + snow = potential death... stopped driving in the snow.

Started the Commemorative Edition Register page here:



Moved into a small apartment, moved into a bigger apartment six months later. Moved into a house one year later. Realized I couldn't keep daily driving the SRT in the winter if I wanted it to stay nice, so got another Neon.



Installed factory cruise control on my SRT-4. Figure there are probably less than maybe a dozen people who have ever done it?



Found out that purchasing an SRT new allows you to attend the SRT Drive experience. Drove to Jolliet Illinois to participate in that event, had a blast :clap:



On the way back, imagined that I ran the car to 155 mph against a Pontiac Grand Prix GXP on the interstate in Iowa, because of course, if I really did that, putting that here could potentially get me into some hot water ;) This situation is the only time I "imagined" the car going that fast in all the time I have owned it.

Got personalized plates. Drove up to Cleveland Ohio to the SRT-4 Nationals, met ERabbit and a bunch of other great guys. Ran the car completely out of gas and coasted to a stop in the gas station parking lot, had to push the car to the pump to fuel it:





Got my personalized plates, then picked up a Mopar Borla exhaust and waste gate assembly cheap from a guy going through a divorce:



Went through a divorce myself :frown: Kept the car! :clap:



Moved away for my job. Moved back a couple of years later. Drove up and took part in the Woodward Cruise in Detroit:





Realized while I was there... there are starting to be fewer and fewer of us left, only saw 2 other SRT-4's the entire time, out of more than 40,000 cars.

Attending countless Mopar events in the Midwest





70k miles, replaced the shifter/tranny bushings.



Also replaced the transmission fluid...

For the first time (I KNOW I KNOW, WTF ARE YOU DOING RT???)



I could talk about a host of other things, the other cars I've owned, from the pickup, to her Buick, to the Cruz, now to the Ecodiesel. The SRT-4 however has been amazing. I've beaten up on cars I didn't think I could. I've been beaten by cars that surprised me, the Honda Civic turbo guy who bought me lunch just so he could talk about cars. The state patrolman who pulled me over doing 130 mph but couldn't ticket me because "I couldn't get a radar lock on you, you were going too fast". The skunk that bonked his head on my oil pan, then let loose with his cologne all along the underside of the car (the only time I've ever gone to the car wash at 3 in the morning, and it STILL STUNK FOR 3 MONTHS AFTER!).

She has been incredibly reliable, check engine light on once, only once, after installing the Mopar exhaust, to let me know "uh, hey man, no downside O2 sensor reading" (because this set up doesn't have it). Cleared it, never came back, never seen another one. I don't want to hear from you Chevy guys... my Cruz was in the shop EIGHT times, check engine light came on God knows how many times, and that was my daily and didn't get driven near as hard as the SRT. Up and down the track, did a 13.9 once (just once, sadness) rodding the piss out of her, but just goes to show, you keep track of engine oil, coolant, don't do stupid mods, this car can go on, and on, and on....

Everything has been so fun. Yes she shifts hard, yes the interior is literally stepping back into last century. Yes people ask me "Dude, you have CD's in here???". Yes, I have the last BF Goodrich KDW2 tires that were available for this car (from 3 different places all around the USA), because I guess I like originality more than performance (I'm sure stowaway would confirm that about the stock tires haha).

So this is today:



10 years, 75,351 miles, lived in 7 different places, 5 daily driver vehicles, a wife, 2 kids, a divorce, this car and I have been through a lot. I still come across old posts from other forums from back in the day, laughing it up that Dodge would even consider making this vehicle. "A turbo neon? haha that will blow up before it is even a year old" "Won't touch my WRX, hell it won't even beat a honda". It brings a warm fuzzy feeling. I've watched so many people come and go here at the forums but I cherish all the information I've gained, the crazy fights we had here, the friendships I've made, and even though there aren't near as many people, I hope the forum continues to go on. After all, I have a stage 3 package that I need to install, and I may need some more information. It's only been sitting in the box for SIX YEARS now.

I will buy other cars, maybe even other SRT's, certainly other daily drivers, but I will never sell this car. I've grown to "love the hate" that it gets, I don't expect it to ever be worth anything, but it is worth its weight in gold to me, and that is honestly all that matters.

So here is a big cheers to these cars, and to all of us who own them now, have owned them in the past, and who purchase them in the future, may they continue to make your heart race, and bring a smile to your face.
I have power rear windows and cruise lol


Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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I've had my 04 for 6 years now and I'm the 3rd and final owner. 165k and she just needs a intercooler, turbo, built head, somer energy bushings, coilovers, and tune then my project will be complete muahahaaa?... wait lil viper how you did rear power windows, I need dis?. Next project will be my old ladys 306hp v6 06 is350, always liked the look of those cars.
 

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. I just recently installed a low mileage trans from an '04, since my poor '03 trans finally got tired after 150k miles, and finally having an LSD is incredible! If it weren't for all the squeaks and rattles, it would almost feel like a new car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 · (Edited)
Another Thank You SRT-4: 15 Years Of Fun!!!

Has it really been 15 years already? She's sitting at about 83,000 miles now. We are still living in the same house, it is a cozy quaint residence. Not sure I'll ever move.

Committed to keeping the car looking good.
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^repainting an area under the hood back in early 2017, where the cruise control cables had rubbed the paint away. You can see this was before I finished my garage (bare concrete walls)
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More car shows, here we are at the 2017 HIPO Mopar Show, the biggest one in Nebraska, I try to attend it every year. Won my first trophy ever, 3rd place overall SRT, not too shabby at a show with more than 300 cars, all Mopars.
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Redid the garage, so my ole' girl has a warm comfy place to spend her time :)
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Won the 2017 Halloween show, and a nice size trophy (after the weather went from 50 to dark and 20 degrees with blustery north winds, and we were the only car that stayed. We were eating inside the restaurant and came out to receive a trophy hahaha)

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Then the bad, in late 2017 on the interstate, transmission let go, had to limp home. "Fixed it" a year later, October 2018, 100 miles later: catastrophic failure, far worse :( Actually attended ONE car show between DEC 2017 and MAY 2021, during that 100 mile stretch, in the town I grew up in.
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I could see my Trail of Shame for almost 3 months after this, it is truly hard to believe how long hydraulic fluid (which is what trans fluid actually is) lasts compared to engine oil LOL
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Decided to finally fix the 2002 Neon SXT I had picked up in 2008 (yes, nearly 10 years before). Ended up spending about 3,000 on it, got it to what it looked like on the right, then drove it for a year and sold it for 2,999 dollars in 2019. It wasn't about the money, it was just fun to bring her back. And that 3000 dollars went to something much needed... (still waited another nearly 2 years to get it)
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Got my new transmission in May 2021, got her installed, along with all new OEM struts all around and prothane bushings. 2 mile drive, had to pull the transmission back out again, pan was all loose (long story) and dumped oil into the bell housing, ruining my 500 dollar clutch. (100 miles including earlier, 5 dollars a mile, not bad right lol).

So let's see, transmission out, transmission in, transmission out, transmission in, transmission out, transmission in... I'm starting to get the hang of this haha. A month or so later, shift selector breaks, FWD sends me a forged AGP selector for no charge overnight, installed, good to hook!

(Continued)
 
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