Xceler8x HalfDork
11/7/08 12:17 p.m.

Talk to Skierd. I seem to remember he had some experience campaigning a Hyundai. Can we get some more detail about your car? Engine? Trans? Any other mods already done?

Also, if your budget is limited keeping the car is always your best bet. At least you know what you have. No surprises like a busted timing belt that you didn't expect.

Another point, for more performance you can't beat losing weight. Start stripping stuff out if you can. That's tough if it's a daily but if you look around you might see some lard you can shave off. It's also the cheapest horsepower you'll get.

Bobzilla New Reader
11/7/08 12:39 p.m.

Keep the Tib. It weighs about the same as a Dual Cam Neon. Go with the new H&R Coilover's, GK 19mm rear bar, 195/50 stones on some Motegi 15x6.5 tracklites with 35mm offset, CAI, header, catback, poly front bushings and fill the motor mounts.

Car will be just as "equipped" as teh Neons and be such a different ride. IIRC, you have the 1.8L Beta. . . the 2.0L was offered in the FX and is a direct bolt in for 30hp more. I can't remember your location, but I know a few Hyundai freaks that would be willing to help out!

Then again, this coming from the guy that just won his local STS class in a 2002 Hyundai Elantra and is building a 1990 Suzuki Swift (aka Metro on Steroids). . . I like to be different than the rest. Spec 89 Civic Si has been a spec class too long.

neon4891 Dork
11/7/08 1:26 p.m.

Like above posts, work with what you have. Neons are fun, but nowadays...

  1. Out of production for 9 years

  2. medeocer durability

3.They beg to be betten on like a rented mule

...add these up and things get exspensive for a cheap car. I picked up my R/T in May for $2400, and the 100K maintanance had been done, but it still ran me $1000 to get it running properly and legal. Plus I still need to replace my transmision soon.

Bobzilla New Reader
11/7/08 2:01 p.m.

The Tib weighed about 2500lbs stock. It reacts well to a good suspension and wheel/tire combo and the MAF Beta's (97-01) really respond to I/H/E well. Now that H&R offers a good coilover kit for it with their bilstein adjustable absorbers IMO that is the wy to go.

ACR's are hard to find in decent shape. If you do find one, you'll spend a fortune. Keep the interior and compete in a ST class. Otherwise you'll be out classed in SM or a Prepared class IMO.

joshx99 New Reader
11/7/08 6:18 p.m.

Yeah, I kinda hate my ACR. I totally bought into the hype of having one as a DD/fun car and kind of regret buying it. Dodge built them to be cheap, and they have not held up well.

Travis_K Reader
11/7/08 6:32 p.m.

Neons are reliable if taken care of, I have heard of one with 400k miles on the original engine. Really the biggest problem is they have a reputaton of being cheap crap, so thats how they are treated. After 9 years of that, most of them arent in terribly great shape.

Gimp Dork
11/7/08 10:10 p.m.

Stupid Skierd... always gets the Hyundai cred...


There was talk a while back about a Tib being possible in STS, but if I were spending the money (and trust me, I have) I would go with the neon. Parts are cheap, and they are rather quick. You couldn't really give the spec Civic a run, but you'd do well locally.

skierd Dork
11/8/08 9:30 p.m.

Because my car always looked better.

Your 97 wouldn't be a bad car if it was a 2.0L, the extra HP really really helps. Also, do you know if its a revision A car? I think it was only on the FX but if it is there will be a big box in the driver's side fender, 85% sure its the evap canister or something like that, that basically sits where you'd run a filter for a CAI. Also, I'm 99% sure all Tiburons came with a cat on the exhaust manifold, so your header makes you illegal for STS (unless they changed the "no moving the cats" rule in STS) and puts you into DSP. IMO no one will care locally unless you start winning so just run in STS until you do.

Koni makes strut inserts for the Tib, Whiteline make the best sway bar for it, bushing kits are available from Shark Racing and KSpec as are strut bars and most of the other little things you might want for it. Watch out when you go to buy wheels, as all Tiburons up to the 2000 model year had captive rotors, meaning the rotors are bolted to the hubs and can't be replaced w/o a press. Because of this setup, there are 4 bolt heads on the face of the hub, making it very hard to find aftermarket wheels that will clear those bolt, especially in a 4x114.3 bolt pattern and that are decently lightweight. Rota Slipstreams will work fortunately, since they're cheap and light I'd go with them.

I've seen a tiburon running at the Solo Nationals in STS (he had a 2001) and he didn't do horribly. Not in the trophies, but not DFL either. The biggest problem is cost, since everything is low volume, imported, and/or custom made nothing will be cheap. Neon's should be a lot cheaper to build up and run, but then you'd be stuck driving a Neon and who wants that?

skierd Dork
11/9/08 9:33 a.m.

Well that all depends on what you want out of the car I guess. If you want something to take to Nationals after building it up for a few years and get a jacket, neither the Neon or the Tiburon are the car you want, at least not in STS.

How long have you been autocrossing? If you're new either car will work but the tiburon is better imo because you already own it. As far as the front end goes, new bearings, rotors, and pads installed cost me about $300 on my accent, never had to touch the drums, so its not that bad. I wasn't so much saying the tiburon couldn't be competitive but it would be a lot better to start with a 2.0L car w/o a sunroof.

Neons are going to be cheaper because there is a much larger following, meaning lots and lots of used parts that can be had for a few bits of string and used chewing gum.

integraguy Reader
11/9/08 11:09 a.m.

I'd stick with what you've got and save for something you really want.

BTW, I don't know when the last Neon ACRs left the plant, but Dodge still offered the Neon ACR in 2002....not exactly 9 years ago as a previous poster said.

joshx99 New Reader
11/9/08 11:26 a.m.

So, how does the ACR stand up to the Civic, etc.? I was under the impression that the Neon ACR was one of the best fwd cars evar.

Travis_K Reader
11/9/08 12:43 p.m.
integraguy wrote: BTW, I don't know when the last Neon ACRs left the plant, but Dodge still offered the Neon ACR in 2002....not exactly 9 years ago as a previous poster said.

They stopped making any neons that matter for any type of comptition in 1999. The 2nd gen is too heavy. I personally like neons, but unless you are going to build one for FSP (LSD, r compounds on lightweight wheels, $5k suspension, etc), or you get an ACR and you want to embarass all the people in GS that think they will automaticly win becasue they bought a mini even though they dont know how to drive it, there not really any reason to get a neon for competion. 10 years ago they were the car to have, now they are still fun, but not anything magic.

skierd Dork
11/9/08 7:25 p.m.
joshx99 wrote: So, how does the ACR stand up to the Civic, etc.? I was under the impression that the Neon ACR was one of the best fwd cars evar.

The "problem" in STS for anything other than an EF civic is the 225mm treadwidth limit on tires. The neon is stuck using the same tires as the civic, but is a few hundred pounds heavier and physically much bigger of a car.

internetautomart SuperDork
11/9/08 7:52 p.m.

weren't there some euro/asian spec tiburon performance pieces?

integraguy Reader
11/10/08 5:25 a.m.

Gee, when I read the original entry here, and Derek's follow-ups, I don't read anything about him wanting to race...I do read that he is looking at cars that have moddability at a reasonable price.

IF, if, that's the sole criteria, you can't go wrong with the Civic or an Integra (though the Intregra costs more, on a year by year basis than a Civic). There are still mods available for the Neon...though being out of production means the resources they once had are drying up. If you are truely thinking "oddball" marques, try thinking about Focus, Sentra, or not so "left field", the Mazda3.

integraguy Reader
11/10/08 5:31 a.m.


Go to http://www.HowellAutomotive.com before giving up on the Neon idea.

Bobzilla New Reader
11/10/08 12:32 p.m.

IMO, anything heavier than the Civic is not going to stand a chance on the national level. THat's why I'm going for a lighter car in STS. . . 1700lbs and 100whp.

But on a local level and to learn the Tib (or Neon) will both be a great vehicle.

Bobzilla New Reader
11/10/08 3:24 p.m.

Then keep it simple. H&R's on KYB's, OEM 19mm rear bar with bushings, intake to go with the catback and some good tires/wheels.

That's the cheap and effective way to make the car handle great on a budget, still be streetable and be competitive locally.

As for the STS classification, the 97/98's did not use a manifold cat on the 1.8's, so the header is still STS legal.

skierd Dork
11/10/08 10:37 p.m.

I agree above with everything except for the KYB's, mine did not last very long on my Accent with a lowered suspension. Koni's are twice as expensive, but are thrice as nice.

The Tib is definitely a raceable car for what you want to do. What region do you run/hope to run with?

Our Preferred Partners