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  1. #1
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    life of my 97 neon

    ok, just figured i would start a thread so everything with my neon can pretty much be together. here.


    here was my neon when i first got it.



    this is how both of the front rotors were when i changed them



    new door to replaced the smashed one



    traded my buddy hoods. which his car blew up shortly after



    went to check my front brakes and snapped off 8 out of the 10 lug studs.



    pulling the motor after i snapped the timing belt. bought a whole nother neon for $400 with a blown trans



    getting ready to go back in



    new fender to replace the one with a huge dent





    whats the best way to get these two dents out?



    replaced the rear door on driver side because it was getting some rust on it. also replaced the rear bumper because it got a huge gouge in it when my brother was pushing me cus my starter died. and also traded my buddy trunk lids after his car did die lol.
    there's no life like a LOW LIFE!
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  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    yeah it got the nickname the christmas tree a while ago. just before last christmas me and my girlfriend of the time just got out of my car to walk into walmart. well a little girl was coming out with her dad and i heard her yell look dad santa is here! lol but yeah i have a red drivers door to go on it to cus the bottom front is rusting. i got a little surface rust to fix right now and im shaving off the impact line in center of door. and it will be painted black before installed

    but im not going to weld in new steel like i should to do it properly...... im just going to use bondo lol, dont even care. And don't exactly know when ill get to it but I'm going to shave my rear door handles to. And maybe the key hole for the trunk.
    and maybe the third brake light. but i dont know yet lol


    oh you guys will like this. i forgot about this pic lol. and with it on the roof we drove into a huge snow storm. the two hour drive turned into 5 hours lol





    ok here some pics of working on shaving the body line in my door. now to be done properly i should have welded in metal then smoothed with bondo but i just didnt really care to be honest lol. so here ya go















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  3. #3
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    That car has had it rough.
    Oderint Dum Metuant

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    and i dont know why the program showed this much drop but here a 4 door dropped 6" on 20" rims with 40 series tires and tinted out windows




    finally switched the gauge clusters today. the new one has about 9,000 miles less on it though. oh well lol





    Ok I ordered in my k&n filter to do my 3.0 cold air intake.
    Just need the tube now lol.

    I ordered in a MSD ignition coil.

    I bought new bouche plug wires.

    I have my NGK plugs still pretty new from old engine.

    I ordered new drums for rear brakes and on wed. That's getting put on as well as having front rotors turned. Then everything will be new or less than a year old.

    And on thur. I'm getting my bad tie rod replaced and an allignment done.

    Then before winter getting my other 2 tires replaced.


    MSD ignition coil, and bosch plug wires. this got rid of my high rpm studder to so you guys know



    i stopped with the shaving of the doors as it was just way to much work, and to ghetto to just fill it in with bondo................ good thing i did it on my spare door lol. but if you seen some of my other posts the car hasnt been running since around december ish. but im not going to go into all of that.

    but basically after doing lots of looking i want to eventually make my neon a mean little car. this will involve a 2.4L swap with full ported and polished head from MP with Crower cams and the whole 9 yards. full bottom end build as well but this wont be for a while. my debate though is to venture into the boost world and have to deal with the tuning and everything or just go with a naturally aspirated build.


    so......... just did the 3.0 cai on my sohc neon. wherever i read it from was right about it pulling way harder after 3,000 rpm's! my question is this. i remember hearing something about if i dont run that hose from the stock tube and just put a little filter it starts leaking oil somewhere? can anyone verify my concern with this?

    my brother helped me with it and he suggested adding a little bung to the metal pipe so that i wouldnt have that problem which is totally doable.

    also my hood prop gets shoved way forward about 3" from where its supposed to clip in on the drivers side when shut. and the hood hits the intake tube. any fix for this or just something i have to deal with?

    thanks for the help guys and ill post some pics in a bit once i upload them before i go to bed.
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  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    ok heres the pics



    you can see her peeking through the hole where the air tube goes up to the battery







    you can see what i was talking about with the hood prop



    and here you can see how far off it lines up



    me and the christmas neon



    and my brother who helped me out cus he was bored......... and had a sawzall lol





    ok that was all copied and pasted from another form i was on. so its all up to date pretty much and i do have some more to add to it as well.
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  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperGN View Post
    That car has had it rough.
    yeah, shes had a hard life lol. and just found out last night i need a front motor mount. the torque of the engine has broken the rubber loose inside mount so it goes into (or seems like) gear really hard between park and drive and whatnot as the motor is torquing over when it does.
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  7. #7
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    You have probably already seen this but if you haven't give it a look. It appears to cover just about anything neon. Even motor mounts.

    http://www.allpar.com/neon/performance.html
    Oderint Dum Metuant

  8. #8
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    yeah already seen that but its always good to have more info at hand. thats why i like posting on here because people on here are not as one sided as on other forums. people throw out more ideas and comments here that are helpful it seems lol
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  9. #9
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. O.G.'s Avatar
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    Paint that Christmas Tree!!!

    Sent from the cockpit of my Jeep Wrangler
    My Black & Blue Rally is faster than your color...

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    well this whole thread was about the life of my neon to so im going to post it just to keep things more together and organized because thats just how i am lol.

    http://traxxas.com/forums/showthread...omoive-friends.

    and by the way thank you to everyone who attempted to help me get my car running again with thoughts and suggestions.




    this thread is also about my neon so here it is to.

    http://traxxas.com/forums/showthread...ag-strip-today

    thanks for thoughts, ideas, and comments on it as well.

    i will be doing the majority of posting for anything to do with this car in this thread from now on.
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  11. #11
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by O.G. View Post
    Paint that Christmas Tree!!!

    Sent from the cockpit of my Jeep Wrangler
    im working on it. one thing at a time though lol. im in process of photoshoping a pic of the paint scheme i want to do. so once its done ill post it up. going to start uploading the newest photos of things ive done from this weekend though.
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  12. #12
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    ok, so here is how the custom 3.0 cai looks out of car



    removing the heavy side moldings in the doors which also makes it look more like an acr model



    stock airbox finally removed the rest of the way. plenty of room for a future turbo



    decided to polish my headlights cus they were pretty bad. but here is the unpolished version ( both look like this )



    and here is the polished version



    tinted tail lights ( bright on the bottom from the camera flash ) well worth the $14 a can for this stuff i must say



    tinted front turn signals/marker lights



    and losing light outside but tails installed

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  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    some daytime pics of the lights









    and as im sure some of you have noticed the side markers are not tinted. only because of the lack of daylight yesterday. there drying right now and then ill get some pics with them installed as well.
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  14. #14
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    Have you heard about the roller painting technique? It will cost less then $100 for your whole car.

  15. #15
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    yeah lol, my buddy actually used roll on construction paint on his cavalier lol. im going to start slowly one panel at a time removing dents and putting in primer. then i will work on painting it. as long as i can find the color i want in a can im going to be spray bombing it. (spray paint) which if done right will look really good still and then i will even be adding clear coat over top of it to make it last longer.
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  16. #16
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    Jesus christ save yourself some money and self-respect and just get a 3 year-old Honda or Toyota. Heck, even the new Scion iQ is only $15k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 08kgraves View Post
    yeah lol, my buddy actually used roll on construction paint on his cavalier lol. im going to start slowly one panel at a time removing dents and putting in primer. then i will work on painting it. as long as i can find the color i want in a can im going to be spray bombing it. (spray paint) which if done right will look really good still and then i will even be adding clear coat over top of it to make it last longer.
    It's going to be impossible to make that look good.

    I don't want to sound like a total jerk, but you must have really low expectations for the car if you are truly considering to do the whole car with rattle cans....
    Maybe I misunderstood what you said?

  18. #18
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 67Mustang View Post
    It's going to be impossible to make that look good.

    I don't want to sound like a total jerk, but you must have really low expectations for the car if you are truly considering to do the whole car with rattle cans....
    Maybe I misunderstood what you said?
    well obviously you dont know how to do it right then. because i put another door on my dakota and the truck was white and the door was black. well we took our time and it looks like factory paint. you cant even tell its spray paint. so forgive me if this sounds like me being a jerk but im thinking you should learn a little bit more about a subject before you pretend to know what your doing.
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  19. #19
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo_cat1 View Post
    Jesus christ save yourself some money and self-respect and just get a 3 year-old Honda or Toyota. Heck, even the new Scion iQ is only $15k.
    i will never buy any of those brand vehicles. i like things made in america. and the whole point of a project car is to have a project because you like to tinker. not to just be like awe...... its not perfect so im going to go buy a new car lol
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  20. #20
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    dont mind the horrible photo shopping skills i have, but this is kind of what it will look like. and the random grey spots in the winshield are supposed to be the passenger side windows tinted lol.

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  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. O.G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08kgraves View Post
    i will never buy any of those brand vehicles. i like things made in america. and the whole point of a project car is to have a project because you like to tinker. not to just be like awe...... its not perfect so im going to go buy a new car lol
    I can respect your beliefs, but competing is good for America. Our manufacturing was too complacent in the 70's and 80's.

    Now back to the project!!!

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08kgraves View Post
    yeah, shes had a hard life lol. and just found out last night i need a front motor mount. the torque of the engine has broken the rubber loose inside mount so it goes into (or seems like) gear really hard between park and drive and whatnot as the motor is torquing over when it does.
    Please don't take this wrong, but how in the world did that motor break a motor mount? IIRC, those motors only made around 100-110 ft/lb of torque!
    Aw, Biscuits!

  23. #23
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    Hahaha you're right, I don't know what I'm doing. Don't take advice from the guy who owns a Mustang restoration company.

    Painting a single, flat door is different then painting a whole car.

    Since I have much to learn, could you tell me how you're planning on doing spray paint for the whole car? Maybe I could do it on my cars.

  24. #24
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    67Mustang,
    well how do i know what you know? im just saying that your basically talking trash on me, and to be honest i dont really appritiate it. it takes much longer yes, will it hold up as good as a regular paint job? probably not in the long run. but it will look good for a while if done properly. im just going to ask that if you dont really have anything nice to say then dont say it at all. im not here to be talked down upon. if you want to say that it would probably look better and hold up in the long run better to not use spray paint thats fine. but dont sit there and say that i must not have very high expectations. you dont know me at all man.

    all you need to do is do light coats from a greater distance than normal and more or less just let the paint fall on the panel vs. your traditional painting style with an actual spray gun.

    my brother just pointed out a little self contained unit though for $100 at lowes and they dont have the colors in paint cans that i want, but they have it in spray cans. so if they can order the color i want since they carry the brand i will do it that way in a heart beat. but i just bought a spray can of each color to try out for now.




    O.G.,
    its not that i really have anything against other people buying these cars. i just never will myself. they typically cost more when it comes to parts, the parts are harder to come by, and i just personally dont like them really. and there more of a pain to work on to lol.




    bjoehandley,
    the sohc makes 132 hp at the crank and 129 ft lb torque all stock. the front motor mounts on atx cars are natorious for going out because its the only one to control torsional rotation while the m/t neons have a bobble strut on the backside as well to reduce the torsional twist impact on the motor mount. im not to worried though, ill go find a good used one at the junk yard for now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo_cat1 View Post
    Jesus christ save yourself some money and self-respect and just get a 3 year-old Honda or Toyota. Heck, even the new Scion iQ is only $15k.
    I feel a 4 door Neon sleeper is better than anything available to Americans from those company's in the last 10 years.


    Quote Originally Posted by 67Mustang View Post
    Hahaha you're right, I don't know what I'm doing. Don't take advice from the guy who owns a Mustang restoration company.

    Painting a single, flat door is different then painting a whole car.

    Since I have much to learn, could you tell me how you're planning on doing spray paint for the whole car? Maybe I could do it on my cars.
    Prove your superiority and paint the car for him.
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  26. #26
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    the car will be painted eventually be it with a gun or spray paint, but im not trying to say that i am superior to anyone. But yeah, im digging the sleeper neon, might even leave the roof rack on for that very reason lol
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  27. #27
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Cameron's Avatar
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    While i can appreciate the work going into it, having bought and driven a 95 Neon new off the lot and and then towing it into the scrap yard in '98 with > 45,000km, i just cant see the point of doing it to such a pile of a car. Head gasket went at 18,000km replaced that, transmission went at 30,000km, replaced that, something broke internally in the engine at about 43,000km. I had enough of it, took a consolidation loan to pay it off and watched it get crushed. Biggest pos i have ever had.

    But props for doing what you are doing, working on your own car is a fading memory. I would think if more people still did this, they wouldn't be building new cars so that you literally have to take it somewhere for some of the simplest maintenance repairs.
    (RAH) (AH) + [ROMA (1+MA)] + (GA) + (OOH)(LA)

  28. #28
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. O.G.'s Avatar
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    Keep up the good work, I know you love your neon as much as I love my old Jeep Wrangler. BTW, when I was out for a ride tonight I noticed a new noise so I feel your pain. Lol

    And props for being able to do your own work. It's impressive especially at your age.

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  29. #29
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Great project car!! I run a 2000 Hyundai Tiburon to work & love it. Nothing perfect, but it gets me there and back.
    Last edited by DiggerPede; 05-28-2012 at 11:02 PM.
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  30. #30
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    not sure what would have broke internally in the engine but the head gaskets were common until your changed it once and got the replacement upgraded gasket. not sure if you had a five speed or auto tranny but i know the five speed is common to drop the diff pin if beat on, and all dodges had atx tranny problems. But hey, every vehicle has its own little problems its just which ones do you want to deal with you know lol.


    but on a side note, got the front side markers put back in just as i was losing light. looks good, was to dark for a picture at that time though. but time to get ready for work so maybe ill be able to get one up tonight with them in as well.
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  31. #31
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    When I had my 2dr espresso neon I broke a exhaust manifol bolt. Talk about being the hardest thing to fix on these engine's. Trying to use an easy out bit to get the bolt out of the block was time consuming. I later traded it in for my present car a WRX partially built.
    *Proud Husband of United state's Air Force wife.*

  32. #32
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    TRUCK BED COATING! It will look awesome!

    Btw, you should be able to force 5 psi down it's throat with a fuel sytem and tune.....maybe a piggyback ecu.
    erbe emaxx 26maxx s27revo 18tmrevo XXL platinum

  33. #33
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. O.G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lubecakes View Post
    TRUCK BED COATING! It will look awesome!
    Jeepers line their tubs with that stuff and it looks pretty good. You pull the carpet out and paint the inside.

    Sent from the cockpit of my Jeep Wrangler
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    But props for doing what you are doing, working on your own car is a fading memory. I would think if more people still did this, they wouldn't be building new cars so that you literally have to take it somewhere for some of the simplest maintenance repairs.
    I couldn't agree more, all the best to you and your car Graves, will be checking out this thread regularly.
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  35. #35
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Cameron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08kgraves View Post
    not sure what would have broke internally in the engine but the head gaskets were common until your changed it once and got the replacement upgraded gasket. not sure if you had a five speed or auto tranny but i know the five speed is common to drop the diff pin if beat on, and all dodges had atx tranny problems. But hey, every vehicle has its own little problems its just which ones do you want to deal with you know lol.


    but on a side note, got the front side markers put back in just as i was losing light. looks good, was to dark for a picture at that time though. but time to get ready for work so maybe ill be able to get one up tonight with them in as well.
    Exactly the problems i had, the big 3. I had just had enough of it. If i was beating on the car sure yeah i would expect it to break, but after spending $3800 to replace the Atx, which conveniently wasn't covered under warranty since they decided it abuse that caused the failure, once the engine went, it was a con rod that broke. i decided enough was enough.


    But back to you. enough of my misery. lol

    Keep the updates coming
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  36. #36
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    I remember reading somewhere that the original 4 speed transaxles were designed so that a set screw was to lock that diff pin in place, but the accountants decided that set screw was going to cost too much money. Supposed a few good wheel spins from loss of traction was enough to dislodhe it. Never had that issue with the 3 speed auto's in my Lebaron and Shadow turbo's, the 4 speed in my parent's '06 Town and Country hasn't shown that tendancy as of yet (considering it has had a bunch of other issues, I will not buy a Daimler era Chrysler.........ever!) My I had done some research on the 6 speed in my 200 and found measures were taken so that wasn't going to be a problem in that transaxle.
    Aw, Biscuits!

  37. #37
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    Why would a screw cost too much? I can't see that unless incorporating the screw into the design was the reason.
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  38. #38
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    the neons in first gen from 95-99 only came with a 3 speed auto (no overdrive) or a 5 speed manual tranny. few different gear ratios though depending on the exact model. but the biggest problem with the tranies from dodge is that they left the line pressure to low so that the clutches would slip more and allow for a smoother shift. well these clutches slipping more burns them up way faster. just so you all know lol. you can fix this with a slight line pressure adjustment (if you know what your doing). but im thinking i might try and trade my 4x4 truck for another neon to have. not sure if i would daily that one or the christmas one. guess depends on the condition of it. but that way i can slowly build it up. probably start with a basic 2.4 swap and 5 speed swap if atx. then go from there slowly as money provides lol.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjoehandley View Post
    I will not buy a Daimler era Chrysler.........ever!)

    That's a shame. Especially since one of them is #4 on the ring and better than 99% of the cars available for purchase.

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  40. #40
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    Projects are fun. I look forward to seeing the future of this car

    I want to tinker on my own cars, but don't have the funding to do it yet. I have 2 VW TDI Jettas. When I have the funding I plan to change the turbo, injector nozzles and tune the ecu. I already get 50+mpg on the highway and 45+ in town. It will be even better when I get more mileage plus the extra power for dusting the ricers lol
    ERBE, Sl4sh MT, P4de, 1/16 Grave Digger 4x4

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