1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9
GoLucky Reader
11/20/20 10:09 p.m.

Amazon delivery: 

t3 flange and set up for an external gate. It looks like there is maybe enough room for this to fit behind the engine. I’m almost to the taking apart a running and driving car again part. 

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/21/20 9:38 a.m.

In reply to GoLucky :

Looks pretty much like a Mexican Stratus R/T exhaust manifold.

if it all fits, I might consider having it and the turbo hot side ceramic coated inside and out to help with heat issues, but that's just me.

Good luck with the Speeduino!  Building, installing and tuning my first MegaSquirt project was quite an undertaking and a hell of a feeling of accomplishment.  You've already got a drivetrain swap under your belt, so you're well on your way!

GoLucky Reader
11/22/20 7:38 p.m.

No real wrenching on the Fiat happened but I have a fully soldered Speeduino 

The Speedyloader was easy to use; got the latest firmware installed. This was important since earlier versions did not have a 420a crank/cam decoder. I am pretty sure that the particular board I have built does not accommodate (at least easily) a stepper motor control for the idle air. I plan to switch to a PWM idle valve instead. 

I am slightly stuck with the TunerStudio side of things. The prompts and options in the how to do not match my brand new registered version. For some reason or another there are no fuel or spark tables; just a single value and a straight line. Seems like there is some more learning for me to do. 

GoLucky Reader
11/24/20 11:00 p.m.

I got another soldering project. This is a 14point7 wideband controller kit. 

I got it as far as laying it out on the workbench. 

Soldering is great. But I feel the need to turn some wrenches. But, my garage is a mess. 

Got things moved around and a smidge of cleaning. I spun the car around to get to the engine better and started getting things out of the way.

Hood and back trunk lid safe on the shelf. 

Rusty. It is out now, unlikely to return. 

I’ve never installed or removed a Neon header in a Neon. In a Neon swapped Fiat it is a breeze. This one bolt is an Allen for ease of wrenching. The heat shielding is removed from the alternator and then: BAM

It is pretty straightforward. I did neglect step 1: Disconnect negative battery cable. Consequently I arced the header against the starter positive. Mostly adding this as advice to my future self. Do step one before proceeding. 

Anyhow this is where we wrap up for the evening 


At this point I have some ideas:

A)small sensible turbo

B)  larger, cheeep turbo

C) both A and B in a compound turbo setup. 


Mezzanine Dork
11/25/20 11:58 a.m.

I vote A. 

Heat management is going to be a concern in this car, and even a little boost will be awesome. If you really want more, go big turbo. But C is not a realistic consideration to me. 

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/25/20 12:44 p.m.

Yup, A.  You only have 2.0L to spin a turbo and in a mid-engined RWD car that won't be fun or easy to drive with a lot of turbo lag.

If you feel that you want MOAR boost, maybe look at adding a supercharger and a large turbo?

One step at a time and ceramic coating, heatshields, crank scraper, oil cooler and intercooling will all be your friends to keep this thing alive under boost.

GoLucky Reader
11/27/20 4:32 p.m.

Yes, sage advice. Compound turbo fantasy should be lived out on a different build. The gt17 will continue as the turbo of choice. It seems like the stock 420a will not really want anything more anyway. 

GoLucky Reader
11/28/20 1:32 a.m.

Soldering is done on the Wideband Controller. A test fit of the connectors reveals some interference. 

Out comes the whittling knife :

fits like it should. I need to get some crimp pliers and dig through my box o’ wire to get this controller functioning. 

GoLucky Reader
5/2/21 2:57 p.m.

It has been forever since I’ve posted anything.  Some changes are in the works today. 

GoLucky Reader
5/2/21 5:46 p.m.

$500 worth of 1978 Fiat x1/9. 

I heard about the car from my stepson who saw it sitting in the weeds. He found the owner and made a deal. I just showed up with money and we have a bill of sale pending a title transfer. I’m pretty excited about doubling our x1/9 fleet.  We have to go back with a trailer, but it is just out in the Helena valley. 

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/2/21 5:58 p.m.

Those wheels... effing hearts

GoLucky Reader
5/9/21 2:28 p.m.

With a uhaul trailer and a strong friend with a truck the ‘78x1/9 made it home this morning. Seriously, if this had been a regular car that weighed even a little bit more, we wouldn’t have been able to muscle this thing up the ramps. The brake drag didn’t help either I suppose. 

Unsurprisingly there is some rust. Here are some inverse glamour shots:

Ick. Battery try provides a view to the cabin. 

Frunk floor isn’t great and a hole through a subframe structure. 

From underneath is also not awesome. 

rear quarters and fenders have rust as well: 

window frame has a spot as well. No picture right now. More preliminary exam to come. Also need a name. Should think about goals and direction. 


GoLucky Reader
5/9/21 6:21 p.m.

Spare tire is present. 

The releases actually work but a bit wonky 


GoLucky Reader
5/9/21 7:32 p.m.


Seats look not terrible under the covers 

something was hungry for plug wires. 

Busted rear trunk hinge. 

Whoah! Flat kit. 

The chewed away plug wires had me nervous about the rest of the wiring. I put in a battery and have one functional pop-up headlight (drivers) all signal and running lights. Nothing made bad smoke or sparks so far. Tires are all trash; drivers side only hold air for minutes. Clutch and brake go right to the floor and stay there. 

According to the seller, his dad parked it in the mid 90s because of a broken accelerator cable. The car apparently comes with two replacements. 

That is it for now. I’m not ready to commit in any particular direction yet. 


Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/9/21 8:46 p.m.

Wow red on brown. 78 was wild, apparently. I love it.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/9/21 8:47 p.m.

Btw, are your sleeved and welded axles still going strong? Any issues with them yet?

GoLucky Reader
5/9/21 9:41 p.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

I’m happy to report that the sleeved axles are holding up. 

GoLucky Reader
8/7/22 9:12 p.m.

So much has happened in the last year.  The 78 Fiat is gone after a very brief stay here. I didn’t have the bandwidth to even get anything started so it moved on to someone else. 

I actually gifted the Neon Swapped Fiat to my stepson and he had an absolute blast driving it for several months until it quit running. Suspected fuel pump issue. He shared with me that the car always got a lot of attention and people had all kinds of questions. It was a bit awkward for him to be driving a build that wasn’t his. After it sat for a while he started another eg33 Forester swap completely solo and we worked out a deal for me to buy back the Fiat. 

Then it sat some more. I Previously built an over elaborate internal pump into the stock tank but it was not great. Fuel sender didn’t work properly, vent lines leaked fuel if the tank was full. and the tank had some rust spots patched with epoxy. Eventually I ordered up a new tank and sender for an EFI car and fuel pump for a 78 Volvo 264/ BMW 2002 tii. 

I am trying to make new mistakes instead of repeating old mistakes so I harvested some goodness from the old tank. 

Chopped up the captured nut frame to get a couple of brackets. 

Zapped the brackets in place and reused some of my old fittings and some extra EFI hose on the pressure side and some carbed hose and a filter from my box of random car stuff.

Looks like I need to buy one fitting for the return and a couple feet of hose as well as  extend the pump wiring. I’m hoping to get it on the ground in the upcoming week. It has been too long since I’ve gotten to drive this thing. 


GoLucky Reader
9/8/22 11:13 p.m.


Honestly I have been putting off this update because it bums me out. The worst part is that instead of what I'd usually do this time I paid the registration and added insurance BEFORE driving the car. 

Engine is not okay sounding. I got everything together enough to start and then pulled the dipstick and it was not touching any oil at all. 

The car has been sitting for so long that I planned to change the oil, but for a test drive I decided to add all the leftover fractions of quarts that I had in the garage. It sounded not good and didn't get any better. 

Right now I'm on the fence about what to do. Infinite options exist but the following are what I am considering:

1. Drop engine replace bearings as needed. Cheap, maybe. Who knows what I will find in there?

2. Replacement junkyard motor. None local, all things are now expensive including shipping the things. 

3. 2.4 swap! More displacement, future SRT goodness possible Early NA version can run on existing ECU and harness with some documented mods. For sure have to make some more room and fab one new mount. Also will require new alternator brackets. 

4. Make it go away. 

5. Ignore the problem until later. Possibly much later. 

Mezzanine Dork
9/9/22 11:19 a.m.

Just pay up for another motor and swap it in. Go drive and enjoy. I wouldn't make more of a project than you need and the way that engine sounds now I'd be worried about just replacing bearings...I expect there's lots of metal bits circulating in the oil now doing who-knows-what to all the other precision clearances. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 1:45 p.m.

I agree with Mezzaine - those neon motors can't be very expensive right? I'd even guess that you could almost part out a broken one for the price of a complete running example. 

jfryjfry SuperDork
9/9/22 3:28 p.m.

I'll third that.  You were excited about it with that engine, so fight the scope creep temptation of a bigger, different engine.   Just pull it, do a quick inspection and either do a quick and dirty re-bearing/cleanup/maybe new rings job or buy a used one if you can find one. 

If you find a good used one you could probably have it done in 2-4 days of work. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/9/22 4:24 p.m.

Opinion: You've come too far to turn back now.

Stock 2.0 or2.4 should be plenty fun in there.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/9/22 8:24 p.m.

A 2.4 swap is an amazing upgrade from the 2.0

I had a 2.0 eat a rod bearing in my acr, and an 01/02 pt cruiser engine was cheaper than a ring and bearing kit.

GoLucky Reader
9/9/22 9:04 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Based on your experience how much more exciting is the car post swap? I haven’t been in a swapped Neon but my understanding is that it is a significant improvement. 

I’m drawn to the 2.4 swap partly for performance  gains but a huge plus is there are so many more engines around and they are less money and less miles than 2.0 counterparts. I have a theory that this may be because of the different owner demographics and because neons get consumed by a whole bunch of race classes. Not so much for the Breezes? 

The Neons around me are thin on the ground (or race cars) apparently but a fair few cloud cars and PTs are on CL and marketplace. 

 I realize that the swap option makes me work harder but I’m still considering it. It may come down to what can I lay my hands on in the local area. 

1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners