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Unread 06-24-2010, 07:57 PM   #1
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Default Finally finished my cruise control on the SRT-4

HEY EVERYONE! LONG TIME NO POST!!!!

Sooo, to set this up, because I don't even remember if I posted about this years ago...

The SRT-4 never came with cruise control, not even offered as a factory option. In 2005, some resourceful owners discovered that you can indeed install the factory cruise on the car, and it works perfectly, except you cannot decelerate. Everything else works, on, set, speed up, cancel.

So in March of 07, I purchased a brand new Mopar 03-05 Neon cruise control set off Ebay for 75 bucks, and installed the electronics (ECU plug, clutch disconnect, brake disconnect, ran the wiring through the grommet in the firewall) and installed a portion of the vaccum hoses.

I ran into a snag because the throttle body on the SRT-4 is completely different from that of a regular Neon, and there is no secondary cam to hold the cruise cable, only the throttle cable. So I put the entire project on hold.

About a year ago, my wife and I began discussing a vacation to ride the best roller coasters in the USA, and we settled on Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio, because they are second to no one in the world, with like 30 roller coasters, including Top Thrill Dragster. We did more planning this spring and settled on late June, and waddaya know, Mopar SRT Drag Nationals was 45 minutes away... the same weekend we were traveling up there, so we added a couple of days on for Cedar Point and went Saturday, June 19th, for the racing.

To prepare for this trip, approximately 13 hours from Omaha, I wanted to get the cruise control done. So I called a buddy of my dad's, a Vietnam vet who is one hell of a metal fabricator, and he came out to work on my car. We took a spare throttle body, cut off the cam, and he tack welded the metal back portion to my existing throttle body. Then I had to add spacers to the cable bracket to set up the cables 'straight', otherwise they are crooked as heck.

I got everything done, put all the parts back together, dropped the cables into the cams, and fired the car up...

VROOOOOM she was idling at 3000 rpm (normal idle is 800 rpm). I spent the next half hour tearing apart my TPS and idle control motor, thinking maybe some metal shavings fell inside. My dad (a brilliant diesel mechanic) kept harping on and on about checking the cables, I kept telling him that the *@#(*ING CABLES ARE FINE! So finally, more to appease him than anything, I took the cables out of the cams and fired the car up.

It sat at 800 rpm like it was supposed to. Turns out the cruise cable is 1/3" shorter than the accelerator cable, which caused it to hang up just enough to push the idle RPM's. So... i was eating crow at that point and feeling rather stupid, but glad I had found the problem.

Most of the SRT guys end up drilling a hold 1/3" back from the existing hole on the cam, but I wanted to keep the factory look, so I ended up pulling the cable out of the cruise control servo and using a rotary cutting wheel to shave off about 1/2" of the plastic to give more cable at the end. It would have worked brilliantly... except I broke the cable housing putting it back in so I had to wrap it all in electrical tape.

Then I got the vacuum hoses all put in, not to my liking but good enough for the trip, and took the car out on the road.

Worked awesome! 35 mph all the way up to 85 mph. Just as previously stated, the decelerate button doesn't work but everything else is beautiful. It is a bit disconcerting to hear the blow off valve going off ever so slightly as you crest a hill, all by itself, but you get used to it.

We left last Friday morning, and with the Mopar Stage 1 upgrade (which wastes a lot of gas) I was able to push 28 mpg for pretty much the entire trip. I tried hyper-miling back on the first leg of my journey, and I had nearly 190 miles on the first half tank, but then we hit a massive storm with torrential rain, and I only got about 130 miles on the second half, so only 28.9 mpg for that tank.

Oh, and I did crappy at the drag strip. I think I fell for the old "car sounds faster" scenario, because I am running slower times with my current set up than I was stock. Found out later I had a vaccum hose off, and my boost was dialed back some (didn't want to be too crazy that far from home) but I only ran 14.3 at 102 mph, about half a second or so from where I thought I would be. I ran a 13.9 bone stock at Fontana in California 3 years ago. Needless to say, a little disappointed, but holy crap watching a bunch of 10 second SRT-4's scorching down the track was awesome.

I did end up going 120 mph...


But that was on the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point amusement park. If any of you are within 6 hours of Cleveland and you like doing high adrenaline adventures, you would be fool to skip out on Top Thrill. I seriously thought I was going to die. 0-124 mph in 3 seconds, then 4 seconds later you go from ground level to 420 feet in the air, then back down again. A total of 17 seconds from launch to braking, but oh man so worth it.

We also took in the rock n roll hall of fame on Sunday, it was okay I guess, but not worth 22 bucks a person, my wife would probably disagree with that. I guess I prefer listening to the CD's of the bands I like more than reading a bunch of posters and seeing the shoes that someone wore in 1967 on some tour they were on. Oh well, it was still fun.

In other related news, back to my car, I really don't think the AGP waste gate assembly is the way to go for me, I'm going to likely be purchasing a DSP programmer and going with the Mopar Stage II waste gate and putting things back under computer control. Right now I get so much flutter, it is really irritating and seems to hurt the overall performance. That and I have a boost leak I need to get under control.

Enough excuses yet? HAHA! I did 13 runs down the track, they were all between 14.3 and 14.7 - at least I was consistent.

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Unread 06-24-2010, 09:54 PM   #2
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sounds like a lot of fun.
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Unread 06-24-2010, 10:22 PM   #3
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about Damn time you showed back up! Sounds good can you get us some pics of the CC. Where have you been all this time?
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Unread 06-24-2010, 10:35 PM   #4
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we thought you died LOL. welcome back.
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Unread 06-24-2010, 10:50 PM   #5
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I've been EXTREMELY busy with work, and we had another little monster 8 months ago. Been in our house for a couple years now and have been busy doing the home improvement thing. Two months ago I did a complete tune-up on my 2000 Neon SE with the SOHC 2.0 motor. One day it started overheating and acting really sluggish, so I figured I'd go all out, replaced the timing belt, water pump, head gasket, thermostat, accessory belt, power steering belt, and a bunch of other little things.

My dad wanted me to drive the car down to the farm (30 miles or so) from my place but because it is an interference motor, I decided to trailer it down. Turned out to be a very lucky decision... got the front of the motor off (WTF chrysler, that is madness!!!!) and then the water pump housing off, and on the back side of the housing, the fins of the water pump were gouging into the housing.

The timing belt runs the water pump, so basically what was happening was the water pump was going bad and was dragging on the belt which apparently retards the timing which was causing the sluggish performance and compounding the overheating problem further. If I had driven the car probably 5 more miles it would have broke the water pump and snapped the timing belt, which would have bent valves, and ended the engine's life (completely rebuilding a motor like this with 117K miles would not really be practical).

This little car has been great, but had always leaked oil. So when I put it back together I used black silicon on the cam positioning sensor, and cut out a 'cereal box' gasket ring for the oil plug, which stopped a little leak there. Now I have a small leak on what I believe is the PVC valve (back of the head?) that I need to fix, once that is repaired I think every leak will be found. Then I can move on to why a bunch of lights don't work haha (interior dome light, engine check light, fog lamps, and some others).

Oddly enough we are having a hell of a time getting the air cleaner box open. The screws are rusted so badly that they will not turn for anything, even with PB Blaster soaking them. Can't really torch them or weld onto them because of the plastic box, so I think I'm going to try and dremel my way through them. On my SRT they used 8mm bolts instead of the stupid phillips head screw, probably found out the hard way that it was a better choice. I am guessing that changing out that air filter will make a huge difference, I don't know that the box has ever been opened from the looks of things.

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Unread 06-24-2010, 10:53 PM   #6
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Oh, and as far as photos of my CC install, that will need to wait, I had plans to take photos but I was running out of time. I have some minor changes to make to get everything working perfectly so once I break it all open again I'll take the photos. I'm going to purchase a new cruise cable, and split it in the middle to gain that extra 1/3", then use a crimped small piece of aluminum pipe, sand it lightly and paint it black, should look really good and be perfectly functional. The way the set up is now, it has a pretty bad kink next to the servo (because I broke the housing).

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Unread 06-25-2010, 08:27 AM   #7
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There you are! Sounds like you have had wuite a busy year.
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Unread 06-25-2010, 12:22 PM   #8
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So far so good. I am checking out a stage 3 mopar package today, but the guy wants so much for it. freaking chrysler killing the stage kits last year has driven the price WAY up on all the used ones. It is actually getting very tempting to just go with an AGP big turbo set up, I just don't want more than about 375 horsepower, and I want to keep my daily driveability.

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Unread 06-25-2010, 12:37 PM   #9
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get the AGP and a dial a boost kit, keep it low for dd, boost it for track?
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Unread 06-25-2010, 08:11 PM   #10
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off topic but do you ever get up to the car show on Wednesdays.
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