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2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
5/9/15 6:25 p.m.

Today was dedicated to extracting the broken rear anti-swaybar bracket bolts and we had mixed success. The passenger side bolt sheared about 1/3rd of the way out so with liberal application of heat, penetrating oil and a few hits with an air hammer allowed it to bebacked out about 1/2 turn at a time with vice grips.

The driver side didn't go as well. The head of the bolt had sheared off flush with the frame and the initial and follow-up attempts to drill and extract were failures. We finally drilled out as much material as we could, heated it up cherry-red and busted out the rest with a hammer and chisel.

That pretty much trashed the nut which is welded in so we cut an access hold on the side of the c-channel so we can place a new nut to receive a replacement bolt when we re-assemble.

I'll be ordering a hardware hit to re-mount the bar after I get the struts next week so I can do everything at once. Onward.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
5/12/15 8:17 p.m.

I've had some clunking coming from the left front so I jacked the car up tonight and got a good light under it so I could do a visual inspection and maybe figure out the problem.

This looked like a good candidate.

I also thought the tie rod end was failing but when I looked at the other side they were identical. Is this what they should look like?

The LHS control arm has a stress crack too.

Finally, the inner control arm bushing looks to be failing, and in general the bushings look tired all around; dried out and crumbling.

I'm driving a few towns over tomorrow night to possibly buy a new set of control arm bushings but I'm not sure I'll install them since the rust factor is very intimidating. I don't want to extract any more frozen bolts.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
5/13/15 11:59 a.m.
2002colossalfailure wrote: I also thought the tie rod end was failing but when I looked at the other side they were identical. Is this what they should look like?

That's normal, the factory tie rods are stamped.

2002colossalfailure wrote: Finally, the inner control arm bushing looks to be failing, and in general the bushings look tired all around; dried out and crumbling.

It doesn't look like it's torn or anything, mostly just dusty. That particular bushing is a bit funky looking at full deflection.

ScreaminE
ScreaminE Dork
5/13/15 12:35 p.m.

How do the front sway bar end links look? Grab them and shake/pull on them. ANY movement usually means they're either loose or shot. If they don't show signs of movement, disconnect both of them and move them out of the way of the suspension travel. Go for a stroll around the block and see if the clunk goes away. If so it's either the end links or the sway bar bushings. I'm sure they're both insanely cheap.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
5/27/15 8:10 p.m.

I haven't had much time to work on the Neon so I took a few minutes after work and further improved the shifter. A couple of weeks ago I bought this set of control arm bushings for $25. and along with them was a bag of never-used booger bushings gratis. They were needed since one shift cable had a bushing carved out of a marine plug and the reverse cable end had a stack of washers and a cotter pin in place of a bushing. In a few minutes I had the new bushings in place and shifting was much better. To celebrate, I took my daughter 40 miles south to Gingerman Raceway and attended Track Night in America. It wasn't a huge turnout, but one car made the trip worthwhile. It was a blacked out lotus track car (2-11 or something like that) and it was over the top cool.
I sent my daughter out for the parade laps in the Neon with one of the SCCA staff so she would have someone to talk her through the course and educate her a bit on driving the line.
I think she had some fun.
The garage floor was re-poured last week and this Saturday I'll seal it. With that project done I'll be pulling the car in for a couple of months worth of tinkering and appearance improvements.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/6/15 7:56 p.m.

After neglecting the car for a week I spent the day poking around on it here and there. I wanted to remove the broken anti-sway bar bracket so I can recruit one of the machinists at work to make a copy so I can re-install the bar.

I removed the CAI and battery relocation tray. What a tank that thing is. I was going to install a stock intake I pulled of a wreck at the local LKQ but after comparing the two CAI parts versus the 6 or 7 stock pieces I decided to keep the CAI system. I removed the 18 layers of foam and screen that surrounded the filter and re-sprayed the battery tray. Of course there was another busted bolt to extract, but I'm getting better at it. When I put it all back together, I screwed up the throttle cable routing of course, but it's not binding and not in the way of anything else so I'm going to leave it be for now. I also spent $6 and mickey-moused a battery tie-down too. Finally I checked the plugs figuring they need changing but they looked fine, so no money spent there. If I have some time tomorrow, I'll play around with it some mmore.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory SuperDork
6/7/15 5:29 a.m.

What makes this 10x more interesting to me than many of the high-dollar builds out there?

I must be a cheap bast...

This is up there with the Saturn build from a while ago!

I wish you luck, keep it going!

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
6/7/15 10:16 p.m.
2002colossalfailure wrote: Finally I checked the plugs figuring they need changing but they looked fine, so no money spent there.

Did you check all 4? The waste spark will erode (if I'm remembering right) 3 & 4 way faster than 1 & 2.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/8/15 5:56 a.m.

I didn't check all four but based on your advice I will, thanks.

Scottah
Scottah Dork
6/8/15 7:33 a.m.

Ever get the front end clunking figured out?

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/8/15 11:32 a.m.

Yes, I had a broken rear anti-sway bar link and the a very loose pinch bolt on the front left control arm. After removing the bar and tightening the bolt I haven't heard anything.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/10/15 9:15 p.m.

Ordered a hardware kit for the rear a/s bar (ST Suspension) so I can re-install it. $68 hit to the budget. I took some time tonight and painted the rear suspension links since I didn't their current "oxide red" appearance. I'll post a pick when I get the bar back on. I'm thinking about doing another trip to Gingerman this month and actually participating in the upcoming track night event. If I can find where the exhaust rattle is coming from and tone it down that is. I was thinking it was the manifold heat shield but I locked that down and there's no difference. I'll get up under the front of the car this weekend and see if I can find the problem.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltraDork
6/10/15 9:23 p.m.

My acr had broken catalyst banging around.

Did you know that the acr ecm does not check the cat? I took it completely out and never got a check engine light. The pids even showed properly for inspection on the obd2 check.

ssswitch
ssswitch Reader
6/10/15 11:08 p.m.

How's the other sway bar mount looking? I can't imagine the other one will be too far behind the first one.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/12/15 5:21 a.m.

If you mean the front bar, the mounting hardware is different and looks to be in good shape. I think Dusterbd13 might be on to something with his comment above. I should have time this weekend to poke around and see what's what.

Scottah
Scottah Dork
6/12/15 6:56 a.m.

My Miata did that and damn near drove me insane trying to find it. I pulled off heat shields and was about to give up when I thought the cat had a heat shield loose on top of it so I took it off. When I did a big bees nest of catalyst came out. Problem solved plus free HP.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/14/15 7:23 a.m.

I checked the exhaust system for the source of a rattle that's a bit obnoxious when the engine spins between 3-4k. First I noticed this system has no cat... ...and generally in great shape. The heat shield is mounted properly and tight as well. I did find one small leak at this joint, but nothing that needs immediate attention. Starting up the engine and getting up close and personal from front to back while my SO revved the motor the noise turned out to be from the muffler, which looks new.
I'm not planning to change it unless it self-destructs. At the moment I'm struggling with the belt that drives the AC and power steering pumps. It's very loose and squealing. It looks like the PS pump does the tensioning but the bolts that might allow me to pivot the pump aren't presenting themselves to me yet.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
6/14/15 7:42 a.m.

That stand scares me.

Looks like it is trying to slide off the end of the arc. Needs to move over to where the gusset meets the rail.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
6/15/15 12:49 a.m.
2002colossalfailure wrote: It looks like the PS pump does the tensioning but the bolts that might allow me to pivot the pump aren't presenting themselves to me yet.

They're located between the pump and the intake manifold facing the driver's side. I seem to recall there also being a pivot bolt that has to be loosened on the passenger's side below the pulley. There's a 1/2" square hole to insert a breaker bar to assist with tensioning.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
6/15/15 12:54 a.m.

Also, sorry if this is coming off as a bit of a canoe, but I still have my "trunk kit" 15" alloys. I'm going to be selling my neon soon, and I'd like them to go to an enthusiast rather than end up on someone's beater. They look great on a platinum coupe (my old one for example:)

I'd make you a good deal. Interested?

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/15/15 6:15 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

I noticed the same thing, and re-positioned it before I carried on.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/24/15 8:48 p.m.

My hardware kit to replace the broken and rusted mounts and bushings for my ST Suspension anti-sway bar arrived today and I'm planning the install for the weekend. That's the last of the mechanical projects, and the plan is an autocross in July. I'm not much for working on appearance, but I suppose that's next on the list.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/27/15 12:34 p.m.

I might be over my head financially with both the Neon and the Miata. If one has to go it's the Neon.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltraDork
6/27/15 4:42 p.m.

Let me know on that. I miss my acr like crazy.

2002colossalfailure
2002colossalfailure New Reader
6/27/15 8:03 p.m.

I got the anti-sway bar back on today and shook the car down on the local back roads. All systems go.
The reason I'm reconsidering the project is insurance. My six month bill for my wife's sedan, the Miata (which my daughter pretty much took over) and my project Neon is $1350. I can't swing it and I'm not willing to store the Neon until October. I'm going to sleep on it and decide what to do next week.

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