The Dodge Neon and Plymouth Breeze were introduced in the 1995 model year. The 1996 Neon was equipped with a 2.0-liter, SOHC, in-line four-cylinder engine in the base model, with an upgraded 2.0-liter DOHC engine available as an option. The 1996 Neon tie rod ends connect the inner tie rods to the steering knuckle. These adjustable tie rod ends are responsible for maintaining the toe alignment angle -- the amount of degrees by which the tires are turned inward or outward, as viewed from the front of the vehicle on a horizontal plane.
Loosen the front lug nuts with a tire iron. Raise the front of the Neon with a jack, then set jack stands beneath both front sub-frame rails. Remove the lug nuts completely, then remove the front wheels.2
Loosen the jam nut on the outer tie rod with an open-end wrench, while simultaneously holding the inner tie rod steady with another wrench. Turn the jam nut until it is positioned at least 1/2-inch inward, toward the center of the car. Mark the intersection of the outer and inner tie rods with a white paint marker or crayon.3
Remove the outer tie rod castle nut with a ratchet and socket. Push the tie rod end upward and out of the steering knuckle, using a hammer gently, if needed. Remove the outer tie rod from the inner tie rod, counting the rotations that the tie rod makes during removal. Use an open-end wrench to turn the tie rod end, while holding the inner tie rod motionless with another wrench.4
Install the new tie rod end onto the inner tie rod. Hold the inner tie rod still and count the rotations you make to match the removal rotations. Make sure the outer tie rod post is pointing downward.5
Install the outer tie rod post through the steering knuckle, then tighten the castle nut to 45 foot-pounds of torque with a torque wrench and socket. Tighten the jam nut against the new tie rod with an open-end wrench while holding the inner tie rod still. Turn the jam nut until it is snug, then turn the nut 3/4 of a turn farther to acquire the 40 foot-pounds needed.6
Repeat Steps 2 through 5 to complete the replacement of the other front tie rod end. Install the front wheels only after you have double-checked the jam nut and castle nut torque readings. Install the front wheels and tighten the lug nuts snug with a tire iron. Raise the car off the jack stands and remove them from beneath the car. Lower the car to the ground and tighten the lug nuts to 105 foot-pounds with a 1/2-inch drive torque wrench and socket.7
Take the Neon to a professional mechanic's shop equipped with a laser-guided alignment machine. Do not rely on your backyard alignment, as this is very unsafe. Laser-guided alignments are accurate within 0.01-degree of angle.