Ownership Verified: Neon Genesis Evangelion: My 1995 Chrysler Neon SE

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Not one tire on the car is exactly safe. Oldest summers are 1997, newest 2000, winters (Michelin Ivalo!) are 2001.

I have a set of 15" VW Corrado BBS I'm fixing for the car, and those will get a spare set of tires I have. But I have to come up with one 14" set which isn't downright dangerous.
 

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No, it's been in constant use at a couple thousand per year. Inspection doesn't really care about DOT, just tread.
 

CraigB

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What about cracking of the sidewall?
 

LeVeL

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I think this might be the worst car on FinalGear but for some reason I don't hate it. We all have our inexplicable obsessions, so I can't judge. Enjoy!
 

CrzRsn

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Crafted with pride! This is my first Real American Car, too.
I'm actually surprised they built those here and shipped them over instead of building them at some joint venture plant in Europe. I can't imagine the thoughts going through the minds of the port workers on either end when they were loading/unloading this thing.

American dock workers: This will show those Euros on how to make a cheap economy car!
Euros: Dafuq is this thing?
 

LeVeL

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Just shipping it over there probably added 50% to the MSRP :LOL:
 

Perc

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I'm actually surprised they built those here and shipped them over instead of building them at some joint venture plant in Europe. I can't imagine the thoughts going through the minds of the port workers on either end when they were loading/unloading this thing.

American dock workers: This will show those Euros on how to make a cheap economy car!
Chrysler actually tried to create their own European operations, just like Ford and General Motors, but it didn't work out. They gave up and sold everything to Peugeot, which come to think of it is exactly what GM did a couple of decades later when Opel turned French.

They did farm out manufacturing of Jeeps and minivans to Magna Steyr in Austria for a while, though.

Euros: Dafuq is this thing?
No European has ever walked into a dealership with the intent of buying "an car" and ended up with an American car. They have their own enthusiasts, their own garages and for the most part their own parts suppliers too. It's a very different world, although Chrysler did manage to blur the lines a little bit with the Neon and minivans. Especially the minivans, I'd say. Partially because you could buy them with a four-cylinder diesel and a five on the floor.

Opel in particular has also done a good job of "staying European" in the mindset of customers, even though some of their products over the years have had carbon copies on other continents.
 

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Everything that's great about it, I champion. Everything that's terrible about it, I adore. :mrgreen:

I have to take some detail photos of things I find slightly wtf. There are a bunch of quirks and features, too!
 

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Speaking about quirks and features. I guess you have seen what Doug released very recently.


I have had a bit of a soft spot for Neon's since the time I had one as a rental car in the US in the late 90's. Even if that one was an automatic.
 

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This is interesting, as I've said a few times I've nearly bought one of these as a daily. :D
 

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One reason for budding Neon enthusiasts to get a 1995 is that they might come with performance gains. From a Neon FAQ:

1995 m/y SOHCs have a slightly more aggressive cam, and the air intake snorkel is located at the rear of the engine compartment, leading directly into the air box. During the 1996 m/y, the intake snorkel was made similar to the DOHC unit, with the intake at the front of the engine. This is less effective due to intake air being warmed as it passes directly over the motor. Also, to improve idle quality, the cam was detuned slightly. Both of these changes reduced power output a small amount.

So, while I can't verify mine has the HOT 1995 CAM as export cars are elsewhere said to be down on power by 1 hp, mine at least has the short snorkel. Maybe the first export cars had the same base setup as everything else.
 

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Addressed the glaring tire issue with a set of only ten-year-old Semperit winter tires I found under the barn. They are not very recent and not 100%, but they are more likely to get me to inspection and back without trouble, and able to withstand the snow that seems to return every other day. The tires come from a forever project Mercedes W201 that doesn't really need winter tires for the time being.


While changing the tires, I had a look at the fuel filler neck which I know to be a problem point on these cars, as it's quite unprotected and they rust really badly. Eventually there's a hole, the tank has crappy water in it and the fuel supply is compromised. Injectors cost money, etc.

Mine is rusty but not rotten through. A well aimed screwdriver would surely puncture the filler neck, but until a new part is sourced, it will have to do.

The underbody has been rust proofed at some point and looks good. All bolt on parts have surface rust, but that's par for the course.



Front shocks were said to be recently replaced and I was pleased to find out they were Sachs Supertouring items instead of the absolutely cheapest replacements one could source. Of course, ideally I'd have adjustable Konis front and rear, ACR style, but new Koni Yellows are no longer manufactured for the 95-99 cars. Brake parts look good, too.

Also, proof pic!

 

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Changed the air filter, which takes a bit of wiggling to do since the cab forward design means the middle point of the bottom edge of the windshield is quite far forward and the filter housing is under the windshield cowling, behind the engine.



It wasn't offensively dirty but worth changing.

Also, the euro spec cars have a weird plastic plinth that's screwed onto the bumper. I removed it, but as expected there's a colour difference due to the rest of the bumper having had to weather 25 years of sunlight and so on. I could lessen the difference by plastidipping the middle strip of the bumper, but maybe it's not worth it.



 

CraigB

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Also, the euro spec cars have a weird plastic plinth that's screwed onto the bumper.
Looks like there was a similar deal for US states with front plates.

e0473cbb-df4b-47d5-825a-be2a8b1559cc.JPG


Yours looks like it was painted around the plate bracket. You'd expect it to be darker where the bracket was comareped to lighter.
 
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