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Thread: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

  1. #1
    boostaholic R/T's Avatar
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    Question Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Anyone tried it????

    The Neon struts are about 4" shorter than K struts, wondering how low the front would be with them installed...

    OR - The short Neon springs on a K strut??? I have some and it would be possible to get them on the K strut if turned upside down.....

    Ideas???

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor moparman76_69's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    1st gen or 2nd gen neon? We did SRT fronts on 3_bar's old sundance. Just stock SRT struts dropped the front probably 3 inches.
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    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    PM Vigo...he's done this a few different ways IIRC.

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    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    The 1st gen Neons produce a drop which is lower than I would go. The second gen struts are a good compromise IMO. Have you looked at Rich Bryant's offerings for struts?

  5. #5
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Yes, the 1st gen neon struts on my aries were so low that i was practically tucking a 205/50/15 tire, and i could bottom out the oil pan, trans pan, and k-frame on pavement if i went through a dip too fast. It's actually lower than stock struts completely bottomed out (as in like no springs on it at all).

    2nd gen neons have a strut that usually lands you really close to where you want to be.. They bolt up the same as the 1g on top. The bottom (to the spindle) is wider than 1g and requires a spacer of some kind for the strut to tighten down on the knuckle.

    Also, 2g neon struts only allow a certain tire height before there is interference with the lower perch. The srt-4 and PT cruiser struts move the lower perch up an inch (to allow for their factory, tall, 17" tire sizes). So depending on your tire height you may want pt/srt4 struts rather than regular 2g neon struts.

    Having said all this, im going to try 1g struts again on my 82 lebaron. I want a SLAMMED car again and the 1g struts will definitely get me there. I think what i will do differently this time is space my strut bumpstops down so that they hit before anything on the car hits pavement. It will probably not have much up travel and the control arm angles will be atrocious. This shouldnt be a problem for me because the lebaron would probably permanently bend in the middle if i could actually get it to turn hard, and the mark cross seats provide literally 0 lateral support such that i already pretty much slide off the seat turning it on 185/60r14s and stock suspension...

    So really, i dont recommend 1g neon struts for anyone unless you are trying to lay frame, or something close to it.

    The neon springs will fit the k-car upper spring perch but not the bottom to the best of my knowledge, but in order to run a k-car strut mount on a neon you have to lathe down part of the neon strut shaft. In my opinion it is easier in the long run to redrill the strut tower to accept a neon strut mount and run the entire neon strut as opposed to mixing and matching parts (as i did initially on my 93 dynasty with srt-4 struts).

    The softest neon springs are roughly as stiff as the stiffest factory k-car springs (shelby spec et al), and the srt-4 springs are even stiffer. So, unless you are going for all out handling i would just run whatever spring comes on the struts you get.

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    boostaholic R/T's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Nice, good info here - I just wonder about the 1g Neon springs on a K strut - they will work if turned upside down from Neon mounting, with the wide coil down - and are shorter than K style springs.

    I have some, maybe I'll try it......

    ALSO: I was mixing parts in my garage, and tried the easy fix - 1G Neon strut with K strut top bearing/mount to match the unibody: the Neon strut has shorter threads on the top and will not reach through the K bearing - no dice....

  7. #7

    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Quote Originally Posted by R/T View Post
    ALSO: I was mixing parts in my garage, and tried the easy fix - 1G Neon strut with K strut top bearing/mount to match the unibody: the Neon strut has shorter threads on the top and will not reach through the K bearing - no dice....
    The fix there would be to machine down the end of the strut...

  8. #8
    Basic Vendor (MSD, Hawk, etc) Turbo Mopar Vendor rbryant's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Quote Originally Posted by c2xejk View Post
    The fix there would be to machine down the end of the strut...
    Or cut/modify the tower to enlarge the hole so that the Neon spring hat can be used.

    I have a prototype design for a 1/8" steel plate that bolts to the top of the GJKHPA strut tower and then adds 2 new holes that would have to be drilled in the tower . With that you can hole saw out the tower center, bolt the plate to the 3 stock GJKHPA holes and then drill 2 new holes and it makes the Neon struts bolt in. It places the center of the Neon strut just barely forward of the center in order to reuse one of the existing holes. The forward movement is so minimal that it won't affect the caster in any measurable way.

    plate:


    hole saw center guide:


    The coilovers with my camber/caster adjusting adapters are still better but this can make it work for people that just want a stock type of shock.

    If there is interest in this lower end option I can look into making a batch of them with spindle spacers as a kit.

    -Rich

  9. #9
    turbo addict
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Daft question here, what happens if you stick in a short spring, that has free height close to the original installed height, but is higher rate?
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  10. #10
    Basic Vendor (MSD, Hawk, etc) Turbo Mopar Vendor rbryant's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadWarrior222 View Post
    Daft question here, what happens if you stick in a short spring, that has free height close to the original installed height, but is higher rate?
    If a spring with the same length and higher rate is installed it will compress less and raise the overall height. This works well with coilover spring rates.

    For instance if you had a 200lb/in linear spring it would compress 4 inches if there are 800lbs on it (~2700lb car with 60% of the weight on the front comes out to 810lb per front wheel).

    If you changed it to a 400lb/in linear spring it would only compress 2 inches.

    Stock springs are progressive so they are softer for the first few inches of compression making it much harder to figure out than the linear coilover springs. With progressive springs it depends on how much of the spring is progressive and how progressive it is.

    -Rich

  11. #11
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Nice, good info here - I just wonder about the 1g Neon springs on a K strut - they will work if turned upside down from Neon mounting, with the wide coil down - and are shorter than K style springs.

    I have some, maybe I'll try it......
    Interesting. I had figured from eyeballing it that the bottom of the neon spring was too narrow to fit in a k-car upper perch. Let us know what you find out. I will say that in all likelihood with a 1g neon spring on a k-strut you will be almost bottomed out on the strut. The 2g spring would probably work better. However, if you are in it for the lowering, you should absolutely ditch the stock struts. As i said before, you can take the springs completely OUT of a stock strut, let it sit on the ground bottomed out, and even then it is not THAT low. If you lower the car very much on the stock struts, you wont have much travel left. Now, if you put a set of nice bumpstops on the strut (johnny spiva / polybushings.com sells some that i love), it will be tolerable to be hitting the bumpstops all the time. That's how i drove my 3.0/5spd dynasty for several months. But it will still be bouncy even without the crashing noises of a strut bottoming out with no bumpstop, and it will handle poorly. The 2g neon strut addresses those issues.

    1G Neon strut with K strut top bearing/mount to match the unibody: the Neon strut has shorter threads on the top and will not reach through the K bearing - no dice....
    I addressed that in my earlier post. That was the route i took to put srt-4 springs/struts on my 93 dynasty before coming to the conclusion that it was easier to re-drill the strut tower than to lathe the strut shafts.
    in order to run a k-car strut mount on a neon you have to lathe down part of the neon strut shaft.

    As rbryant was talking about, you can reuse one of the existing holes, the forward most. I did that on my spirit. The only things i needed to adapt my strut towers was a 3.5" hole saw, a drill bit for the strut studs, and a primitive cardboard pattern i made from the neon strut. The 3.5" holesaw will more or less center itself over the raised portion of the strut tower that you are cutting out, so there is nothing fancy about getting that hole right.

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  12. #12
    boostaholic R/T's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??


  13. #13
    Basic Vendor (MSD, Hawk, etc) Turbo Mopar Vendor rbryant's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Quote Originally Posted by Vigo View Post
    As rbryant was talking about, you can reuse one of the existing holes, the forward most. I did that on my spirit. The only things i needed to adapt my strut towers was a 3.5" hole saw, a drill bit for the strut studs, and a primitive cardboard pattern i made from the neon strut. The 3.5" holesaw will more or less center itself over the raised portion of the strut tower that you are cutting out, so there is nothing fancy about getting that hole right.
    Good point, it isn't critical to have the hat perfectly parallel when an exact template like I posted above if you aren't using camber plates. It is much harder to do with camber plates because you need the adjustment to be parallel to the front but without that adjustment just getting them near center is good enough. The strut center should probably enen be moved in and back in order to get a bit more camber/caster from stock so after hole sawing the holes can be drilled as desired. It might actually make more sense to use a stock back hole instead of the front to gain some caster I will have to look at my drawings to see if it would work).

    Then the last part is that the Neon spindles are wider so people should either use the Neon spindle/brakes/etc or a spacer on the front side of the narrower dodge spindle.

    -Rich

  14. #14
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Yes, i use one of the stock spacers that goes underneath the nuts on the outside of the spindle, and put it on the inside. It's not thick enough to take up the whole space but it gets it close enough to tighten the strut yoke over it to my (admittedly very low) standards, and i have a bunch of them in my bolt buckets. Not recommending it as the ideal solution, just throwing out my shadetree solution.

    Also, if one wanted to use a neon strut tower brace, you probably would have to redrill all 3 holes. If someone wanted to use a strut tower brace, you could just buy one beforehand and use that as your pattern for drilling.

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  15. #15
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    I have a set of 1gn struts outside that I'm not using, but I do not want to royally slam the Reliant I just picked up. Look like I'll get a set of 2gn neon struts and get a custom coilover spring from QA1 or something (200-250 in/lb). What about lowering the rear? I thought about cutting the springs or getting short springs, but I'm worried about them coming unseated over a hard bump. Any ideas for the rear?

    Edit: Well, I just saw Vigo's pictures of his Aries. That's about where I want to be, so 1gn struts it'll be. QA1 stiffer springs will have to be used though, maybe 2gn lowering springs to raise it up a hair. Still trying to think of ideas for the rear, don't want to get the bump stop oversteer.

    Edit: Did some more reading, apparently 1.8" drop 2gn springs give a 1gn a stock ride height with a higher spring rate. May be a better option.
    Last edited by INVUJerry; 01-12-2013 at 11:11 AM.

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    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Do you mean these pics?


    Stock 1g strut/spring, still has full up travel but now you bottom out the motor before the struts! Rode decent when it wasnt 'laying pan'. I did drag several items down the highway and other funny things when it was like this.




    2g or PT or SRT springs cut down to 1g height will all be stiffer than a 1g spring. A cut SRT spring would be over 200 lb/in so if you have any laying around id try that first. Not sure if a 1g strut will damp that or 200+ lb/in coilovers though. Only one way to find out!

    As for the back, i have mostly cut stock springs. I try to get top-spec springs (shelby or CS or whatever) to start with, but even those are less than 140 lb/in iirc. I havent had any problems with them unseating over bumps or anything. In my experience, at the end of the shock travel, only REALLY lowered/cut springs will come totally loose. But you never get full extension on the street in the back, ever.

    On my aries when it used to be slammed, i never cut the rear bumpstops. Thats why i had that snap oversteer. So you could try cutting them off first to give you some more room. I never tried, but i guess i will on my lebaron here soon.




    Stock strut/spring on left, stock srt-4 stuff on right.


    stock srt-4 left, stock everything right.


    stock 2g neon strut/spring on front.


    stock struts, cut springs, and still decent travel.



    stock struts, VERY cut springs, and almost no travel (in front.. rear was fine). Suspension is same in both pics.

    I can list tire sizes if needed.

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    Garrett booster
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Afaik stock Srt springs are 175 lb/in. I'd still like something a little higher rate so I can not worry about bottoming out the pans or frames. Rear I might end up using 175 or 200 lb springs and a sleeve for adjustability. Def cutting the stops. Thanks for all the pics!

  18. #18
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    No prob, glad to help with lowering since these things need it SO BAD.

    Keep in mind spring rate goes up as you remove coils, thats where my over 200 guess came from on a cut SRT spring.

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  19. #19
    Garrett booster
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    Re: Neon springs/struts on a K based car??

    Ohhhhhhhh, I thought that spring rate went down when you cut it, since there was less spring there, shows how much I know!

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