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PubBurgers
PubBurgers Dork
6/5/09 9:14 p.m.

thanks for the suggestions everyone!

It looks like i'll be looking at Neons or Escorts unless a deal falls in my lap.

Not being very well versed about escorts or neons, what models should i look for? Obviously a Neon ACR or Escort GT is ideal but what about the SOHC neons and Escort LX's? I assume since the Protege and Escort are the same car Proteges are fair game too?

thanks!

Jacques

Travis_K
Travis_K HalfDork
6/7/09 2:55 a.m.

The 4 lug neons have weak hubs, other than that, if you are leaving it stock, an ACR, sport or R/T are better, because thet have stiffer springs and a bigger rear swaybar, other than that, any 95-99 neon will be fine.

BobOfTheFuture
BobOfTheFuture Reader
6/7/09 3:53 a.m.
Travis_K wrote: The 4 lug neons have weak hubs.

and the ACR ones from mopar fit right on.

Duke
Duke Dork
6/7/09 11:03 a.m.

...and in the grand scheme of all things Neon, there are hardly any 4-lug cars out there. 14 years later I'd be surprised if you can even find one.

SOHC/DOHC makes very little difference. The DOHC makes a little more power but torque is about the same and the SOHC makes its grunt at least 1000 rpm lower in the rev band, so it is well suited to autox.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 Dork
6/7/09 12:59 p.m.
PubBurgers wrote: thanks for the suggestions everyone! It looks like i'll be looking at Neons or Escorts unless a deal falls in my lap. Not being very well versed about escorts or neons, what models should i look for? Obviously a Neon ACR or Escort GT is ideal but what about the SOHC neons and Escort LX's? I assume since the Protege and Escort are the same car Proteges are fair game too? thanks! Jacques

As for the Escort.... if it doesn't have the DOHC Mazda motor, don't even bother. Without forced induction, the 1.9SPI is an absolute DOG of a motor, without a sporting gene in it's body.

You want Escort GT, Escort LX-E (4 door gt iirc), Protege, Mercury Tracer LTS. They're all essentially the same car.

I like my Escort so much i'm picking up a 92 Protege 4 door this coming weekend. I don't think it would be well suited to autocross, though. Something about 200hp powered by V6.

Travis_K
Travis_K HalfDork
6/7/09 3:33 p.m.

The ACR hubs arent cheap, and I think they may be NLA. Plus you would have $250 in parts from pick and pull to convert the rear, and no longer be legal for stock class, so its not really worth it when you would have to go out of your way to find one. lol The only other things to be careful of on neons are if its an early one with low miles make sure the headgasket has been replaced, and chamge the timing belt and water pump if it has been over 100k miles since they were done, or if there is no record of it.

Buzz Killington
Buzz Killington New Reader
6/7/09 8:52 p.m.
PubBurgers wrote: Thanks for the suggestions all! As for inseam im 38". I do see a lot of escorts for cheap around here, same goes for neons. The club i'll be running uses NASA rules FWIW. I'm not in the market just yet, just looking for ideas for when im ready.

you should be fine to fit in an NA, then. there is legroom, but for long torso'd folks, headroom (and visibility) can be an issue (of course if it's a fun car only and you have the top down, headroom is infinite!).

the EGT is a good suggestion. if you're looking at equivalents, the '90-'94 protege LX is the one you want. the lower-trim 1st gen proteges (SE, ES, IIRC) have a SOHC engine. the 2nd gen ('95-'98) proteges changed up the trim levels, and the ES became the one w/ the good engine, although suspension bits for 2nd gens are not nearly as common.

the DOHC engine is the same 1.8 used in the '94+ miata, and it is damn sweet.

seeker589
seeker589 New Reader
6/7/09 9:29 p.m.

Miata - I don't have to explain - this is the Grassroots Motorsports message board - nuf said.

Civic - all generations lots of used parts out there.

A well bought third gen F-body (Firebird or Camaro) is a good fun cheap cars. Some of the best handling live axle cars of the 80s. But not very competitive in stock form - good street Prepared or C Prepared car. Tire bills are quite high, however. The same can be said for the Fox body Mustang - but stock Mustang suspension geometry is all screwed up.

Mercury Tracer LTS or LTZ or whatever - is a good idea - it's a Protege ES in Escort clothing.

Prelude? heavy but fun and durable.

Probe GT or Mazda GT6.

A2 VWs (second gen dubs) are great durable cars that are currently quite uncompetative in stock autocrossing - unless it is very well prepared. If you go this route - get Per's book - he had a successful Street Prepared effort.

Sciroccos are great cars - but more of what I said above.

I would go with a Miata or a Honda - you just have to get passed the whole tuner lable with a Honda. Check out the Hong Norr entries in the previous GRM Challenges.

lowendan
lowendan None
6/7/09 9:43 p.m.

Hi, i would suggest a s- class Saturn, Just make sure its a SC2, SL2 or SW2, (twin cam). Decent power, great torque and really light for its size (plastic body). can be had real cheap. they burn a little oil and watch out for the dif pin in the transaxle. It can come dislodged during "spirited driving" and bust a hole in the case. Happened to me twice. You can put in a limited slip to eliminate this risk. You'll be much better off with the limited slip anyway. This is a great handling car right out of the box.

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