enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/24/17 1:52 p.m.

Well, I bought a thing:

My first race car! I've decided to start getting involved in wheel to wheel racing (for better or for worse) and saw this as my cheapest way to start learning. I bought the car and trailer together for very little money. I was hoping to get into Spec Miata but it seemed to be cost prohibitive.

The caveat is I've never touched a Dodge, or owned a FWD car. The good news is it looks fairly simple to work on. Should be a bit of a learning curve. Maybe I'll start a build thread when I start working on the car if you guys are interested in seeing how this plays out.

Klayfish
Klayfish PowerDork
4/24/17 2:03 p.m.

Sweet!!! Welcome to the world of wallet burning, aka wheel to wheel racing. Now that you've stuck that needle in your arm, no going back. The high is worth every penny.

crewperson
crewperson Reader
4/24/17 2:03 p.m.

Count me in. I'll be curious to see how your racing experience works. Chump, LeMons or ??

enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/24/17 2:06 p.m.

In reply to Klayfish:

Thanks! I got a taste in driver's school and was hooked. Trying to do it inexpensively...which is an amusing thought.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
4/24/17 2:06 p.m.

You'll hate it.

So much so, that when I show up at your house with my truck, you'll PAY me to make it go away.

Seriously, have fun. Make sure all the safety is top shelf and spend the rest of the time and money on the loose nut behind the wheel.

enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/24/17 2:08 p.m.
crewperson wrote: Count me in. I'll be curious to see how your racing experience works. Chump, LeMons or ??

We have a class unique to our local track for these cars. I will try that after a few practice days with the car. If that class fizzles out, the plan is to bring it up to ITA and run there. I think the car's eventual retirement plan will be a Chump race with friends.

enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/24/17 3:25 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13:

Good point. I am planning on buying a much nicer helmet than I have now as well as a good HANS device. I've actually budgeted out about as much as I paid for the car to cover safety equipment and a few practice days to get a feel for things.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 UltraDork
4/24/17 4:03 p.m.

Build thread? Yes please!

Where do you plan to run? Waterford hills?

enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/24/17 4:09 p.m.

In reply to paranoid_android74:

Yup! Been doing track days there since I moved out to Michigan. Once I get more comfortable with the car I may start visiting other tracks.

simontibbett
simontibbett Reader
4/24/17 6:32 p.m.

Well you won't ever get away.

Anyway, the Neon can be a blast. I had an ACR sedan years back I ran in SCCA ITA and track days. Super easy and cheap to run. FWD can be a blast, just learn to drive them a tad differently and set them up to be tail happy. I love driving FWD.

Get good gear and focus on driver development before you really dig into anything else. Just ensure it's safe and reliable and enjoy seat time! Have fun, welcome to the world's most addicting sport.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
4/24/17 7:17 p.m.

See if Mopar pwrformance still has ACR front hubs. If so, replace them, and then follow their recommendation of new every 12 competition hours. If they dont make ACR hubs anymore, change more often.

If you want, I can show you my pile of cracked/broken hubs...

79sa
79sa New Reader
4/24/17 7:19 p.m.

Neons can be a blast, and are very simple to work on and maintain. I think youll find you made a great choice to start learning. I use mine for dailying and autox. Its given me no trouble.

enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/24/17 8:09 p.m.

In reply to Streetwiseguy:

Good tip! Reminds me a bit of my Miata...it liked to eat hubs with track use.

enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/24/17 8:12 p.m.

In reply to simontibbett:

That's good to hear. I've only ever driven RWD cars hard so I'm a bit anxious about getting used to it. First up on the purchase list is a nice helmet and HANS. Then I'll start worrying about getting the car up to speed.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy PowerDork
4/24/17 8:28 p.m.

In reply to crewperson:

yeah, I think that's my great Aunt Ange in your Avatar....

sergio
sergio Reader
4/25/17 5:54 a.m.

For endurance racing you will need to repack the front hub bearings with a high temperature grease for them to last more than one race.

PMRacing
PMRacing GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/25/17 7:26 a.m.

I ran SN at Waterford in 2013. It was a blast! If the car has a bolt in cage, make sure all the slip joints are tight. I had to weld mine. Also, rear toe out is your friend. Good luck!

PMRacing
PMRacing GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/25/17 7:28 a.m.

Also make sure the rocker arms and lifters have been updated! I lost an engine due to dropping a valve. If you start hearing valve ticking make sure to check it out.

bentwrench
bentwrench Dork
4/25/17 7:47 a.m.

Mine would eat rod bearings because it would not drain the oil out of the DOHC head fast enough.
After installing external oil drains in the outer corner it would last.

simontibbett
simontibbett Reader
4/25/17 7:51 a.m.

Definitely listen to the hub recommendations, mine was upgraded but all the guys that use to run them in SS had loads of stories. lol

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
4/25/17 7:59 a.m.
bentwrench wrote: Mine would eat rod bearings because it would not drain the oil out of the DOHC head fast enough. After installing external oil drains in the outer corner it would last.

I've mostly run tracks with a left turn bias, and had no crank troubles at all over a couple of freshenings. Castrol Speedway in Edmonton opens, biased to right turns, and almost new one goes Kaboom. I've added an Accusump, but haven't had a chance to test it yet.

I've assumed slosh away from the oil pump pickup, but I really don't know.

BlueInGreen44
BlueInGreen44 SuperDork
4/25/17 8:09 a.m.

Awesome! I have childhood memories of going to Waterford Hills during the Neon's heyday in showroom stock racing during the 90s so I automatically think "racecar!" when I see a first gen Neon. It's fun watching the Neons lift a rear wheel when they corner hard in the curves before the hill Do you think you'll be out there this summer?

If you decided to do a Chumpcar race I hear Gingerman is a fun track. I also hear that Chumpcar is a great way to get a lot of track time for your money.

enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/25/17 9:48 a.m.
bentwrench wrote: Mine would eat rod bearings because it would not drain the oil out of the DOHC head fast enough. After installing external oil drains in the outer corner it would last.

Interesting. The car has an early SOHC engine now...and I know hardly anything about it. I will probably pick another up from the junkyard and build it as a spare so that I can familiarize myself.

enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/25/17 9:50 a.m.
PMRacing wrote: I ran SN at Waterford in 2013. It was a blast! If the car has a bolt in cage, make sure all the slip joints are tight. I had to weld mine. Also, rear toe out is your friend. Good luck!

These are helpful tips. The car does have a bolt in cage, but all joints and mounts are welded. I need to take a closer look. It does have double nascar style door bars that look updated from the original cage, so that is nice.

enginenerd
enginenerd New Reader
4/25/17 9:53 a.m.

In reply to BlueInGreen44:

That's awesome! I wonder if this car was ever out there...probably in a brighter paint color! I don't think it's been registered...it looks it's been a race car since new.

The goal as of now is to start time trials almost immediately. I'll make a fool of myself but it will give me a safe environment to get used to the car, slicks, and FWD...all of which are new to me. I may try to get licensed this season as I did driver's school last year, and join a few races toward the end of the season.

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
9O4iHNnv6ngL9KdP8DpLp44uXySq7p04gWH0Vysi2YmblyajwXRQW9JXydLWBAN6