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noddaz
noddaz Reader
6/1/12 9:23 p.m.

Are these worth owning? Did they ever come with manual trans? If so can they be made to go Autocrossing for Grassroots money? Or do the just roll over from J turns...

Just curious...

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Reader
6/1/12 9:37 p.m.

5 speeds were available. Spouse has one. GT version has a strong (? 240hp? ) turbo engine. touring has turbo with I think 180 hp. GTs have 17" wheels & , I think, stiffer suspension. I expect a lot of power can be had from the GT engine.

garaithon
garaithon Reader
6/1/12 9:41 p.m.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. You can get them with a manual AND a turbo! They are similar to neons but have a different rear suspension (solid axel instead of mac strut.) The 03-07 PT cruiser GT came with basically the same drivetrain as the SRT4, but are usually about half the cost and in a lot better shape as they were mostly bought by 50+ year olds...

I just bought an 03 PT GT and like it quite a bit. .

garaithon
garaithon Reader
6/1/12 9:50 p.m.

Here is a picture of mine with the wheels off my old lebaron GTS. Basicly think of these cars as a neon wagon.

Vigo
Vigo SuperDork
6/1/12 10:07 p.m.

You can make them blazing fast and handle ok, but you can NOT make them less than a complete PITA to work on.

People have made 700hp on the stock bottom end before.

They share front struts with SRT-4 (except for spring rate and valving obviously) so you CAN take stock SRT4 springs/struts and put them on there for a nice upgrade right off the bat.

hotrodlarry
hotrodlarry HalfDork
6/1/12 10:26 p.m.

2 words

watts link.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy SuperDork
6/1/12 11:13 p.m.

I have been wondering how much hoo-hah is involved in sliding the 2.4T from a PTGT into a first gen Neon. As has been mentioned, they are way cheaper than an SRT4, and are pretty much the same, other than intake manifold and plumbing.

300 horses in an early Neon should break stuff nicely.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro SuperDork
6/1/12 11:18 p.m.

corytate
corytate Dork
6/2/12 4:49 a.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: I have been wondering how much hoo-hah is involved in sliding the 2.4T from a PTGT into a first gen Neon. As has been mentioned, they are way cheaper than an SRT4, and are pretty much the same, other than intake manifold and plumbing. 300 horses in an early Neon should break stuff nicely.

according to my buddy that tunes and races neons, an absurdly easy swap.
I've seen two cars he's done the swap to so far, he just buy pgt engines from the jy for the cheapness as they are identical.
STRONG motors.
I always thought it'd be cool to make the car look more like an actual panel van and less like a retarded plastic pain in the ass that wanted to look like a panel van.
de-uglify the interior, change up the front end to get rid of the horribly ugly shaped headlights (on that nose they're ugly at least) and maybe the front bumper. needs a flatter face imo, lower

tuna55
tuna55 UltraDork
6/2/12 11:18 a.m.
Vigo wrote: They share front struts with SRT-4 (except for spring rate and valving obviously) so you CAN take stock SRT4 springs/struts and put them on there for a nice upgrade right off the bat.

I like this idea - does it keep the ride height the same?

I have an '01, very reliable, good handling, nice place to sit, easy to drive, good upright driving position, good cargo flexibility (took all rear seats out for Lemons and slept in the (now quite big) cargo area. The engine compartment is tight - timing belts are a challenge. The intake has to come to do plugs, but it was quite easy. Room enough the the kids and dog, too. Middling fuel economy though.

naparsei
naparsei New Reader
6/2/12 1:14 p.m.

Nuke it from space. It's the only way to be sure.

Ranger50
Ranger50 SuperDork
6/2/12 1:26 p.m.

Between the timing belts and "miserable" MPG's, they aren't that bad of a car. It really is just a "big" Neon. And the timing belts can be done in about 6hrs with air tools handy. BTDT.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
6/2/12 5:06 p.m.

Reliable, slow (in non-turbo form), hard wearing interior with a lot of space but nothing special in terms of the interior ergonomics. Piss poor mileage for what it is. I would take one for really cheap like $1000 but otherwise no thanks.

Aeromoto
Aeromoto Reader
6/2/12 6:09 p.m.

We bought a 2009 brand new. It now has 28k miles and can't even make the service intervals without something breaking and ending up back at the dealer, sometimes on a tow hook. The mileage sucks as well, we get about 15mpg combined, which is about right for a Suburban.

tuna55
tuna55 UltraDork
6/2/12 9:02 p.m.
Aeromoto wrote: We bought a 2009 brand new. It now has 28k miles and can't even make the service intervals without something breaking and ending up back at the dealer, sometimes on a tow hook. The mileage sucks as well, we get about 15mpg combined, which is about right for a Suburban.

Weird. Mine has had three parts failures in 50k+ miles, each was so minor that I could fix at my convenience. My lowest ever tank was 21 mpg. Highest was near 30.

Vigo
Vigo SuperDork
6/2/12 9:03 p.m.
We bought a 2009 brand new. It now has 28k miles and can't even make the service intervals without something breaking and ending up back at the dealer, sometimes on a tow hook. The mileage sucks as well, we get about 15mpg combined, which is about right for a Suburban.

Sounds like you should be in a thread about Lemon Law.

I wouldnt exactly call that representative.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 Dork
6/2/12 9:17 p.m.

I had a plain one as a rental car once. I thought the turning radius (how can I put this politely) sucked. I thought it turned like a vehicle twice its size. But that is just my opinion and I don't count.

But then again I'm used to the turning radius of a Miata and RX8.

ditchdigger
ditchdigger SuperDork
6/2/12 10:19 p.m.

The sum of my experiences with them is the love it or hate it seating position. I hated it and couldn't wait to get out of the thing.

typical car seating

PT seating

Aeromoto
Aeromoto Reader
6/2/12 10:23 p.m.

I blame most of the problems on the time period we bought the car during. It was built in early 09 when Chrysler was basically a walking corpse, and they thought the end was upon them. Why give a E36 M3 about quality when you think you won't have a job next month?

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
6/3/12 7:44 a.m.

I detest the seating position as well. It's almost like a 1970's Fiat Spider just not as comfortable. Some people like the styling, to me, well I've scraped prettier stuff off the soles of my shoes.

The interiors are made of the cheapest plastics available. Engine cooling fans barf with some regularity, are expensive and are a PITA to swap. The timing belt access issue has already been covered.

The engines/transmissions stay together OK but start sounding nasty as they rack up some miles. For some reason, Neons don't seem to be as bad about that, I think it's harmonics due to the vastly different body design.

Basically, it's a lot like a 1970's Chevy: it will rattle in every bolt and sound like the engine clearances were checked with a yardstick but it will keep moving under its own steam.

RealMiniDriver
RealMiniDriver SuperDork
6/3/12 9:32 a.m.

I'll be the third to poo-poo the seating position, and not just my own experience.

My buddy had one, briefly. He ended up selling it after a year, because of the great pain it caused his hips. He was even to the point of physical therapy and his therapist agreed that his car was causing the problem. Got rid of the car, got rid of the pain.

Wife and I rented one, while on vacation. A week was long enough in that car. We both had back/leg/hip pain.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro SuperDork
6/3/12 10:34 a.m.

In reply to Curmudgeon:

I love you..

tuna55
tuna55 UltraDork
6/3/12 10:43 a.m.
Aeromoto wrote: I blame most of the problems on the time period we bought the car during. It was built in early 09 when Chrysler was basically a walking corpse, and they thought the end was upon them. Why give a E36 M3 about quality when you think you won't have a job next month?

Truedelta would disagree with you regarding year-year differences.

njansenv
njansenv Dork
6/3/12 10:53 a.m.

SUPER easy swap. I had a '96 ACR w/PT GT engine. Used a DOHC neon intake manifold. It's the same swap as an SRT for all intents and purposes. Wheelspin at will at any legal speed, I was running around 22psi peak boost on a stock turbo setup. The most fun FWD car I've ever owned.

Streetwiseguy wrote: I have been wondering how much hoo-hah is involved in sliding the 2.4T from a PTGT into a first gen Neon. As has been mentioned, they are way cheaper than an SRT4, and are pretty much the same, other than intake manifold and plumbing. 300 horses in an early Neon should break stuff nicely.
Hoop
Hoop SuperDork
6/3/12 5:41 p.m.

No one's mentioned the horrendous turning radius? Seriously, it's bad. My '96 LHS has a better turning radius. Hell, I am quite certain that my `88 Caprice wagon does as well.

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