Dodge Neon Turbo Guide

Chrysler probably didn’t think the Dodge Neon would catch on with the custom auto tuning scene when it was originally released to the public in 1993. Ultimately, it was designed to compete with Japanese economy cars like the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra, however with a slight emphasis on performance. Even though the Neon was sold under both the Dodge and Plymouth brands in the United States, the Dodge version is more widely remembered by auto fans. The first generation of the Neon was produced between 1993 and 2000, and the second generation was produced between 2000 and 2005.

The Neon’s somewhat athletic character and general availability made it an ideal candidate for the tuning scene to tackle. From the factory, the Neon’s 2.0-liter Chrysler 4-cylinder engine was fairly potent, producing 132 horsepower in SOHC form and 150 horsepower in DOHC version. The wheels in the heads of 2.0L Dodge SX owners who wanted a piece of the turbocharged pie started spinning in 2003, when the 2.4L turbocharged SRT-4 Neon was released.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged Neon engine has proven itself at this time. Since the Neon’s debut, hobbyists have perfected a tried-and-true method for turbocharging the Dodge 2.0L engine. This manual will walk you through the steps necessary to assemble a turbocharged Dodge Neon.

How Much Power Can A Dodge Neon Turbo Handle?

It depends on a number of circumstances, therefore it’s not a simple question to ask. There are numerous tales of turbocharged Dodge Neons going boom at about the 300 hp mark, while some enthusiasts are achieving 600 hp with a stock 2.0-liter engine. Tuning and safety measures like improved fuel systems and piston cooling procedures account for the difference. Around the 300 hp mark, it becomes necessary to start thinking about safety.

You should think of techniques to keep internal temperatures as low as possible to avoid detonation within the cylinders if you plan on using factory original equipment (OEM) internals. This is often accomplished by equipping one’s Neon with a water/methanol injection kit. To lower air inlet temperatures and raise octane, try using a water/methanol system. Besides reducing the likelihood of a detonation, this will also boost the power output slightly. Cylinder temperatures can also be lowered by replacing the stock Neon spark plugs with cooler ones.

Forged internals are required if you want to boost your engine by more than 8 psi. Upgrades to the pistons and connecting rods will be necessary to accommodate the increased force. The most popular upgrade for the Neon is a set of JE forged pistons, which can be purchased with a low compression specification of 8.5:1 for DOHC models. Forged Neon Eagle connecting rods are a frequent match for JE pistons. Together, forged pistons and rods can withstand up to 600 hp.

Dodge Neon Turbo: SOHC vs DOHC

For maximum performance from your Dodge Neon, camshaft placement is a crucial factor to think about. A 2.0-liter SOHC or DOHC 4-cylinder engine from Dodge was offered for the first-generation Neon (1993–1999). The second-generation Neon (2000-2005) was only offered as a SOHC model, with the DOHC option being discontinued. The cylinder head design is the main differentiating factor between the SOHC and DOHC Dodge 2.0L engines. There is also a little variation in the pistons, but the DOHC’s superior flow in the head is the primary contributor to its superior performance.

Both the SOHC and DOHC engines’ internal compression ratios are different because of the cylinder head design. Neons with a double overhead camshaft (DOHC) have a compression ratio of 9.6:1, while those with a single overhead camshaft (SOHC) have a ratio of 9.8:1. If you want to use a turbo application, a lower compression ratio is preferable. That’s why DOHC Neons can take boost better with factory internals. Nonetheless, if your Neon has the SOHC 2.0L engine, there is yet hope. In reality, a DOHC cylinder head coupled with a SOHC block and internals would provide for the best Neon turbo system possible. The compression ratio is 9.3:1 with that configuration. This setup is optimal for boost because it permits maximum boost levels while using factory internals.

You’ll need to make some more changes to your SOHC Neon in order to do this franken-swap. Essential components include a double overhead camshaft (DOHC) intake and exhaust manifold, a double overhead camshaft (DOHC) electrical harness, motor mounts, injectors, and a fuel rail.

This guide at should help you with the SOHC to DOHC conversion.

Dodge Neon Turbo Engine Management

Moderate 2.0L Turbo Dodge Neon builds frequently keep the factory ECU, in contrast to the majority of turbocharged vehicles, which use either an improved engine management system or piggyback tuning solution. However, a factory Neon ECU still needs to be modified so that it can work with a turbocharger.

Missing Link / Voltage Clamp

A missing link or voltage clamp is frequently used to avoid the installation of any additional aftermarket engine management solutions. Both gadgets accomplish the same thing, though in different ways. They both prevent the stock PCM from detecting boost. The inability of your MAP sensor to read boost because of a missing connection is a mechanical problem. There is a little difference in how a voltage clamp functions. It’s a piece of wiring that disconnects when the MAP sensor detects boost and sends that information to the PCM.

The factory Neon PCM acts as if a turbo wasn’t present because it doesn’t detect a difference in the air/fuel ratio. Naturally, your Neon would die from running too lean without the necessary fuel system changes. In the next section, we’ll talk about the necessary adjustments to the fueling.

Turbo Dodge Neon Fuel System

The Neon’s fuel management is just as important as it is in any other turbocharged vehicle. When adapting your Neon’s fuel system for a turbocharged setup, you have two primary options. These will be discussed in a moment. But first, there’s the issue of getting the updated gasoline pump that you need. The most typical fuel pump improvement for turbo Neons is an in-tank Walbro 225. For most 2.0-liter Neon turbocharger installations, the 225 provides sufficient fuel and fuel pressure.

Spool-Boy Mod

Neon turbo systems require a fuel flow regulator in addition to the fuel pump. Possible solutions include adapting the fuel pump canister for use with a variable fuel pressure regulator. For those in the know, this modification is known as a “spool-boy” among turbo Neon owners. The fuel pressure can be adjusted according to the boost pressure using a fuel pressure regulator with a rising rate. By making use of a “spool-boy” mod, you may control fuel pressure without having to rely on a complex computer system. Check out for a comprehensive overview of the Neon “spool-boy mod.”

Upgraded FMU

An alternative is to use a computerized fuel management system, more in keeping with modern times. Surprisingly, turbo Neon drivers rarely take this route. The “spool-boy” and RRFPR methods, which are mostly analog, are quite effective. Even so, there are some benefits to switching to a digital system. An aftermarket Neon FMU controls the fuel injectors’ response to boost pressure. A highly adjustable fuel management unit (FMU) like the Megasquirt or AEM will let you fine-tune the injector response in your turbo Neon with greater precision than a rising rate fuel pressure regulator (FPR).


Similarly important to the fuel pump are the injectors in a turbocharged Dodge SX. The OEM 2.0L Neon injectors will function adequately under typical, low-boost conditions. Turbo Neon fans agree that the stock injectors can withstand up to 8 psi of boost pressure. And, as we’ve discussed, that’s about all you can expect from the 2.0L’s factory internals. However, larger injectors are required for a more severe turbo Neon Build. These 577cc SRT-4 injectors are the most popular upgrade for turbo 2.0L Neons. Whether you go the aftermarket FMS route or install a rising rate fuel pressure regulator, you’ll need to increase fuel pressure if you decide to upgrade your injectors.

Dodge SX Wideband

You’ll need a method of measuring the air/fuel ratio to fine-tune your Neon’s turbo setup if you’re using a rising rate fuel pressure regulator, spool boy mod, and improved injectors. This is where a wideband O2 gauge comes into play. With the above configuration, knowing the air/fuel ratio is impossible without a gauge or meter of some kind. That problem is remedied by a wide-range O2 sensor.

When compared to a standard O2 sensor, wideband O2 sensors have a far more precise range within which they can monitor the air/fuel ratio. Rather than measuring between 14.5:1 and 15.0:1, like the standard narrowband sensor does, a wideband can provide a range of 5:1 to 22:1. In order to make drastic adjustments to the fuel characteristics, you’ll need that margin of error.

Dodge Neon Turbo Oiling

The 2.0L Neon requires modifications to its oil system in the same way as other factory N/A engines do when they are later turbocharged. Typically, a brass T-fitting is used to branch off of the oil pressure sender. Maintaining the original sending unit from the factory is a bonus, as is the additional oil supply for the turbo.

To accommodate the oil return line, you’ll also need to modify the oil pan in your Neon. To recirculate oil, you’ll need to identify the right fittings and tap the oil pan. The tapped oil return line fitting must have a sufficiently large inside diameter to accommodate the oil flow. A turbo may leak oil into the exhaust if the fitting is too tiny.


You probably know what intercoolers are and how they work if you’re familiar with turbo systems. The 2.0L Neon comes with a naturally aspirated engine, so you’ll need to add an intercooler to cool the air before it enters the turbo. An intercooler is typically a part of a ready-to-install turbo package for a Dodge Neon. Try to find a high-quality component if you must source it independently.

Most 2.0L Neon turbo kits use a modest front-mount intercooler connected via 2.5″ pipes. Given the size and shape of the Neon’s central supports and surrounding bodywork, the intercooler face itself has to be quite compact. The 2.0L Neon comes equipped with a naturally aspirated engine, hence a large FMIC isn’t required.

Blow Off Valve

Despite popular belief, a blow off valve serves a much more practical purpose in the Neon’s turbo system than simply generating cool noises. When the throttle plate is fully closed, pressure builds up in the turbo system, and this is where the blow out valve comes in. This buzzing sound is produced when pressure is released to the atmosphere through blow off valves. Check out this resource if you’re interested in learning more about blow off valves.

A blow off valve is essential for your Neon’s turbo system since the compressed air can do irreparable harm to the compressor wheel if it flows in the incorrect way and builds up pressure inside the system. Avoid damaging your turbo and compressor with the installation of a blow off valve.

Best 2.0L Dodge Neon Turbo Kits

If you’d rather not deal with any of the above, there’s always the option of buying a turbo kit that’s already been put together. Although some Neon owners opt to install turbo components individually, the most convenient option is to purchase a whole turbo kit.

Important details regarding compatibility and performance should be considered before placing an order for a Dodge Neon Turbo kit. It’s important to order a kit that’s compatible with your 2.0L Neon’s camshaft setup, for example. In other words, turbo kits designed for 2.0L DOHC Neons will not fit SOHC vehicles and vice versa. Think about the turbo’s dimensions and construction as well, because that plays a role in the kit’s overall performance.

MMI Speed Shop 420a SOHC Turbo Kit

If you’d rather not deal with any of the above, there’s always the option of buying a turbo kit that’s already been put together. Although some Neon owners opt to install turbo components individually, the most convenient option is to purchase a whole turbo kit.

Important details regarding compatibility and performance should be considered before placing an order for a Dodge Neon Turbo kit. It’s important to order a kit that’s compatible with your 2.0L Neon’s camshaft setup, for example. In other words, turbo kits designed for 2.0L DOHC Neons will not fit SOHC vehicles and vice versa. Think about the turbo’s dimensions and construction as well, because that plays a role in the kit’s overall performance.

RX Street Demon DOHC Turbo Kit

The availability of Dodge Neon turbo kits is, frankly, dismal at the moment. Both SOHC and DOHC 2.0L Neons may only be upgraded with turbo kits purchased on eBay. Both used to have several excellent choices that have now been removed from the market. That being stated, remember that while deciding to buy this kit. While it will perform admirably in low-boost settings, it may prove to be a hindrance when dealing with excessive horsepower.

Similarly, the RX Street Demon package for the DOHC 2.0L Neon is essentially a revised version of the SOHC kit up top. In all honesty, that’s not such a horrible thing, seeing as how both kits are not without their benefits. The T3/T4 turbo that can be found in both is a solid option because it balances the power potential with a fast response time. This kit also includes the 321 stainless steel turbo manifold, which appears to be a high-quality addition.

The greater cost of the DOHC RX Neon Turbo kit is understandable given the additional features it provides over the SOHC kit. One example is the manual boost controller kit included in the Street Demon package, which enables on-the-fly boost level adjustments. A battery relocation kit, electronic turbo timer, and oil catch container are also installed.

Dodge Neon Turbo Upgrade Guide Summary

Despite being intended for a broader range of consumers, the 2.0L Dodge Neon has become a smash hit in the aftermarket. The Dodge 2.0-liter engine isn’t the most powerful in the world, but it might be very quick if it were equipped with a turbocharger and a forced induction system.

Both a SOHC and a DOHC 2.0-liter engine were available for the Dodge Neon. Both engines are available for the first generation, but the SOHC 2.0L was exclusive to the second. A SOHC Neon can be converted to a turbocharged vehicle by installing a cylinder head from a DOHC model. In terms of compression ratio, this is the optimal setup.

There are two primary methods for turbocharging a 2.0-liter Neon. The first option is to assemble a turbo system from scratch using various parts. The second option is to just purchase a Dodge Neon Turbo conversion package. The former requires more work and study, but it’s also the most likely choice. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of engine management, fuel system, and supporting upgrade options for a 2.0L Neon turbo build. The extended life of the Neon means that a sizable and well-informed aftermarket has developed around it.

Despite its length, this guide barely skims the surface of what is necessary to assemble a high-quality Neon Turbo build.


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