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Dodge neon 2.0/ 3 speed Auto/ Carry

Discussion in 'Performance' started by Little Digger, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    Transplant 2.0/ 3 speed Auto Suzuki Carry

    I have had this truck for 4 years and love it. but have wanted more power. A set of Mattracks found a home here the first year I had the truck. Boy I need more power. Well after this last winter I had to do something. Here in Utah I ride the mountain roads and trails, 7,000 ft + elevation, killer on the little 660 engine. Then add tracks in the winter and good luck any thing over 10 mph. I am a rock crawler [JEEPS] and have seen a few buggys with transaxle mid engines. So I looked for a low profile engine. A transmission shop had a 95 neon that the owner did not pay the repair bill. So for 200 bucks I had a start for the carry. Well I gutted the truck, thought I killed it this time! I mounted the engine as far to the rear as I thought driveline angles would allow. Two 85 CJ5s gave the front axles, [junk in the back yard]. The rear axle was turned pinon forward flipped over [upside down] axle tubes cut and the center moved to the left side, axle tubes turned to aline the inner cs. Diff was welded and new seals, joints in place. The carry rear leaves were set inboard the frame and axle mounted. The rear drive line was made from the neon drive axle and the CJ front drive line, both were cut. The drive axle slid into the CJ tube and welded. The CJ rear axle park brake guts fit the front brake backing plates and with a little fab the neon cables used to tie into the stock brake handle. The rear end made me lose a lot of sleep. The front axle was alot less work, axle was flipped over [upside down] and the inner cs cut and turned then welded. Front CJ5 leaves were used. Seven leaves, some cut to give the right ride. The front drive line was made from the neon cv drive cup and the CJ rear axle pinon yoke, some cutting and welding, then the CJ rear drive line was used, [stock]. The transaxle diff was then welded. Front steering is full hydro, single ended ram/ orbital valve, using the neon steering pump. The rear steer is also single ended ram/ hand valve, the carry transfercase shifter was used to locate the valve behind the cab using the stock cable. Next up wheels @ tires, some 7"x16" cross bar tires on black spoke wheels. And the truck lives !! I have 200 hard miles on it now. POWER more than it needs, gearing is a little low, 2500 rpm @ 18 mph, kinda slow on the main gravel road but on the narrow two track roads and trails it is right. This thing WILL clime a tree at idle !!! The ac works so much better, it has the power to use it for more than an engine brake going down hill !! And the steering what can i say POWER !! and the rear steer, too cool It will go AROUND trees and rocks, and the ability to go side ways, well who knew ya needed it, well ya do! All said and done [more to do like all projects]it has been worth it. 3 months work [weekends and after work] $ 2,000.00 in parts, five wheels and tires included. Not bad for this kind of up grade. Well what ya think ???? Keep On Truckin Boys!!!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  2. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    Here's the pix

    These are cellphone pix, hope they work.
     

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  3. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    more pix

    Here are some more.
     

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  4. erixun

    erixun Member

    One word..... AWESOME! I will have to come down and look you up, or get you to go wheelin some time!!!! Nice Post, and nice job. I would love to see your truck in person! :pop::pop: Action shots.....
     
  5. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    Thanks, its good to see some one in Utah has and uses these truck's. Keep in mind I built the truck mostly from things around my yard. The neon, two CJs, an old grader, and the old scrap pile of steel. And not much for tools, o ya the dirt floor shed is a lot of fun too! It turned out better than I thought it would. Like i said I thought I killed it at the start. Hell ya lets get together and go for a ride. [ Just remember I am a slow poke till I get some taller gears! ].
     
  6. TRAX and HORNS

    TRAX and HORNS Well-Known Member

    I just came through Utah couple of weeks ago. Was up at Yellowstone and Glacier. Next time I'll take a mini truck. Still a ton of snow. Couldnt believe it.
     
  7. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    Ya we got a lot of snow this year too. Most of it has melted. The mountain roads were fun this spring, I had to hurry to finish my truck to get up there. I love the high country in spring and fall. I love Yellowstone too, I need to go see it soon.
     
  8. fupabox

    fupabox Active Member

    excellent job...love it:)
     
  9. greg0187

    greg0187 Moderator Staff Member

    Sweet! Thats quite an accomplishment! The payoff is worth it in the end. Are you using the stock radiator/location?

    I have 3.08 gears and mine will crawl anything I point it at, and it has good top end.

    Congrats!
    -Greg
     
  10. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    greg Yes, the stock radiator is working out for me, there is a temp sensor in the radiator for the fan. The neon computer has the wires for the fan too, but I didn't use them. It is low geared. [ trans. 1.1 transaxle 2.89 axle 4.27 tire diam. 30" ] 17.48 mph @ 2500 rpm. I am going to change to 3.08s But I need to change out the diff. What rpm / speed are you with 3.08s ? I have looked at your build, looks good !! wish I had the funds to link mine. How do you like your lockers? Have you got it weighed yet? I am at 2,058 lbs / spare tire and tools. It's almost balanced front to rear, the front is 60 lbs over. What rate are your coilovers ? Just got back from a 60 mile ride, and love the power, the steep grades are no problem at all, its kinda fun to punch it and hall the mail up the mountain. O and thanks, your build kept me going hard to finish mine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  11. greg0187

    greg0187 Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah. Mine is a blast. The gearing is low but for me its not too low. The shift points in mine are stiff, especiallly from 1 to 2nd, so it would be nice to have a CVT or something.

    I haven't checked. I actually have 3.31s. I was paced at speed of about 30mph @3500-4000rpm. I will have to check to get a more official number with my gps.

    The lockers are great! Im actually really impressed. I can't tell they are even in there. However I do not have my transaxle diff welded yet so it may be a different story when thats done.

    Nope.

    They are 8" travel with 16" springs. Front is 200lbs and rear are 125lbs.
     
  12. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    greg Thats funny, my 2nd to 3rd shift makes ya glad for the little head rest's that GARD the back window. lol
     
  13. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    More pix. 41's on the Jeep
     

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  14. greg0187

    greg0187 Moderator Staff Member

    You get some impressive articulation with those leafs. Im impressed!
     
  15. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    Thank's Greg, the front leaves have been a work in progress for week's, I just haven't been happy with the ride, changing spring length's. A torque arm had to be made. you know the problem's of a lite spring pack and spring over axles. Finding the right shock is the problem now. All the ones that have the right travel are just to stiff. I am thinking of somehow inboarding them, still thinking on that one. How are you coming with your truck? I have to get some armor going on before I get into trouble. Thinking exocage, but i am not good bending pipe.
     
  16. Ironraven

    Ironraven Active Member

    Very very cool! I wish I had your fabbing skills. Hell I wish I had your scrounging skills! Good work man, very inspirational :cool:
     
  17. Stuff99

    Stuff99 Active Member Staff Member

    that is so freaking cool!
     
  18. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    Well I have been changing the front spring's around and the shock location's, and I think I have got the truck to ride as good as it is going to get on leave's. The big change I made was in mounting the front shock's. This is going to sound strange but I mounted the shock's in the center of the axle on top of the tork arm. It's about 5 inches high from center line, then at about a 45 degree angle to the strut tower's under the seat's. My thinking was to let the axles move with out restriction but still control body movement. By placing the mounting point so high on the axle, when one end of the axle drops into a hole the shock's try to push up on that side of the body and pull down on the other side. On the dip's and bump's that both end's of the axle moves, the shock's work to keep the body from bouncing. I know it sound's dumb but it really does work. The big rock's and holes that used to bounce ya off the seat aren't that bad now, I haven't lost any articulation and the total amount of axle movement is still controlled. I live about 10 miles from West Mountain and use it for my test area when torture testing my dumb idea's. It's hot, steep, and lot's of rock !! This thing will clime, the pix just don't show how steep this rock face is. I slid down when I got out to take pictures and had a hell of a time getting back in!, then just put it in drive and touched the gas and up we go. I got to say there are a lot of times I love the low low gear's !!! Well now on to the rear axle, it rides ok but now I think I can do better, so more changes coming. If ya look at the pix close you can see i wasn't holding the camera level, Look at the lake and weed's, it is steeper than it look's.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  19. Little Digger

    Little Digger Member

    First snow of the year

    We got our first snow in the high country last week and last Sunday I got to try out the truck in the snow. It was cold in the morning around 26, at 8600 feet elevation. There was about 12" of snow in places. The 2nd day of the rifle Elk hunt was going and the roads and trails were beat to death by hunters. The truck did so good in the ice and snow, deep ruts from trucks didn't bother the truck at all. Deep mud holes that most trucks and wheelers went around were just a walk in the park too. I found a few trails that were untouched so I got to play in snow for the first time. The tires did just grate, just what I thought they would do, and in the deep mud they never seem to spin unless I wanted them too. LOL You should see the looks people have when I used the front and rear steer to go off the side of the road to let trucks pass, it is so cool to be able to get in and out of tight spots. And the guys on the side by sides freezing staring at me in my tee shirt, HA HA. The truck has about 1000 miles of dirt roads on it now, the only problem I have had with it is the fuel pump will get hot after 5 hours driving on a hot day and vapor lock, a problem I will fix this winter. The truck does so much better with the weight balanced front to rear, it seems to do any thing I ask of it with vary little effort, and no problems. I still need skid plates, engine cover and a good roll bar, {It sometimes feels like it will go over backwards on the steep climes]. I am vary happy with how it has turned out, I just wish it had taller gears, but at times the low low gears are nice too !!
     

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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  20. Ironraven

    Ironraven Active Member

    Awesome! Sounds like a good time, did you get any Elk?:cool:
     

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