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Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody with the first gen Neon's tried to mod one specifically for mileage? I was thinking scraping some money together and trying to buy a well used first gen for a work beater instead of griving my 16mpg (city) XJ. I'm not too concerned about 2dr vs 4dr or SOHC vs DOHC for that matter. I'd probably try an auto because of traffic. I do have a few questions too and please keep in mind I'm typing this around 2am;

1.What kind of mileage should I look for on the vehicle before I walk from it?

2.Anything I should look specificly for besides a stripped model?

3.Does the Auto have much of anything in common with the ones used in the 2.2/2.5 powered cars?

4.Has anybody noticed if lowering the car helped mileage any on it's own.

5.Has anybody seen a difference in mileage after swapping to composite panels (like the carbon hoods and trunk lids)

6.Has anybody tried different sized rims from either factory applications or aftermarket (I've been wondering about locating a set of Pizza or Eggshell wheels for the older Turbo Dodges due to their smoother profile)

7.What kind of induction and exhaust do you guys think would work? I've contemplated a modded airbox like I've done to my Jeep (knocked out the entire front wall of the box) and I've read that the Dynomax Turbo muffler for the GM F-Bodies is a near direct fit and can make a decent difference.

Thanks for any answers you can give.
 

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I get 34mpg now but was getting around 37 when I drove smart. CAI is a huge diff and also a MTX. I got better mpg with the stock rims.I don't think lowering will help with mpg and I know it won't help with the lower back problems old guys like me get.lol I drive over 450 miles a week and get around 340 to a tank(just under 1/4 on the guage). Also can waste a wide variety of cars on the road if I were to condone that sort of behavior.lol
 

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just buy a well maintained neon 1 gen / 2 gen and drive it sensibly. You'll get great gas mileage, way better than 16 to the gallon. As I'm sure you know, it costs money to make an engine run more efficiently and you won't come out ahead at the gas pump if you are trying to save money. Neons run pretty efficient as it is.
 

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So whats UR excuse?
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There isn't many performance mods other than weight reduction that will make a MPG diff. Manual tranny is going to get better mileage than an auto if you can keep your foot out of it.
Lowering a car isnt going to do anything.Big wheels are goign to hurt MPG.
 

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If you want to modify an automatic neon for mileage, the first thing you need to do is rip out the auto and replace it with a manual. Therefore, do yourself a favor and just buy one with a manual transmission in the first place. ;)

SOHC 5spd, get a K&N drop in filter (not a CAI), new quality spark plug wires, quality COPPER plugs, DOHC muffler, 14" factory alloy wheels, air the tires to 38psi in the front, 34psi in the rear, make sure the brakes arent sticking and the wheel bearings are good, and keep your foot out of it. If you want to go further, vent the valve cover breather to open air, plugging the port on the intake tube, put a catch can on the PCV line, replace the PCV valve, and pull off the intake manifold and TB and clean them. If you want to go really radical, flow balanced fuel injectors, UDP, PS/AC delete, polish the head (minimal porting of the exhaust ports), header, lightweight flywheel, all depends on how far you want to go... Realize that the returns are going to be minimal as you keep dumping money into it and you'd be better off just using the money to by gas instead of chasing after that last 1/2 mpg. I should mention that the reason I mentioned the SOHC engine is not so much for the engine, but for the tranny that is attached to it. SOHC's came with a 3.55:1 final drive transmission, with a .72:1 5th gear. DOHC's came with a 3.94:1 final drive, .72:1 5th gear. '95 DOHC's, ACR's, and R/T's came with a 3.94:1 final drive and .81 5th gear. Now you may find the wrong tranny mated to an engine because it's been swapped for performance purposes or just because the old one blew up and was replaced. I have a 3.55:1 tranny behind (ok... alongside) my DOHC and generally pulled 27-30mpg city, 37-40mpg highway, but it was modded... and not for fuel mileage.
 

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Neon bug bites again
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rice_eater said:
SOHC's came with a 3.55:1 final drive transmission, with a .72:1 5th gear. DOHC's came with a 3.94:1 final drive, .72:1 5th gear. '95 DOHC's, ACR's, and R/T's came with a 3.94:1 final drive and .81 5th gear.

I know this is probably a dumb question to ask but what do these numbers mean? and which is the better of the two?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info guys, I've been hunting some and found one that was $977, but it had 320k miles and body damage. I was impressed that it had that many miles on it, but there was no way I'd buy that one just on mileage alone.
 

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hey acr, wouldn't it be hilarious if that neon was still running its orginal timing belt! Wonder when that one was replaced??
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been wonder which head gasket it was on, and if there was any floor left in it.
 
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