How to Make a 4 Cylinder Dodge Neon Faster

by Charles Green
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Matthew C. Keegan

Introduced in the 1995 model year, the Neon was sold through three brands--Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth. This peppy compact car was initially available in both coupe and sedan formats before Chrysler decided to go with the sedan configuration only for its final years. Though 2005 represents the last year of production, the Neon remains a favorite for the tuner set who enjoy customizing their rides to maximize performance. Just one engine was offered during its 11-year model run, a 2.0L I4 motor, which you can make more powerful in several different ways.

Performance Parts For Your Dodge Neon

Step 1

Install a high-flow air filter. While stock paper air filters get the job done, they do restrict airflow somewhat. To increase performance, you can choose high-flow air filters featuring cotton filtration technology. This allows greater amounts of air to flow through the engine unimpeded, which means that an efficiently operating engine produces more power.

Step 2

Connect a power programmer to the under-dash diagnostic port to help you monitor air and fuel flow to the engine. This allows you to legally and safely override factory settings to gain a small, but noticeable increase in horsepower and torque, just enough extra power to help your Dodge Neon move with authority.

Step 3

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Bolt on a cold-air intake. Colder, denser air helps your Dodge Neon run faster. Unfortunately, factory-installed settings and parts restrict airflow. A cold-air intake increases the diameter of the air intake to increase airflow, while reducing air resistance. The trade-off is increased engine noise.

Step 4

Replace your factory auto exhaust system with a cat back exhaust for more power. You can replace the portion of the exhaust system from the outlet for the catalytic converter to the exhaust tip can in entirety with a cat back system designed to reduce exhaust back pressure. Choose a system made of aircraft quality T-304 steel, and it could be the last exhaust system your Dodge Neon will ever need.

Step 5

Install a header. Your Dodge Neon's intake manifold is part of the engine that supplies the fuel-air mixture to all four cylinders. A bolt-on header collects the exhaust gases from each cylinder into one pipe, reducing back pressure. Less pressure means your engine runs more efficiently, squeezing out increased amounts of horsepower and torque.

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