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Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/18/17 9:54 a.m.

So, finally worked out getting this- with not much more than a month before the Challenge, it will be a challenge in every sense to have it remotely sorted out and able to get there under its own power.

Basic info- as the previous owner put it, it's essentially 3 cars in on:

The base vehicle is a 1982 Dodge Rampage. On the whole it appears to be in decent shape- there's a definite patch of rust by the rear passenger wheel well, and the driver's side rear appears to have been damaged and repaired (or badly rusted and repaired) at some point as it looks to have a good bit of bondo on it. By and large though, I don't see anything yet the worries me about the base vehicle.

It has the front end and side skirts from a Shelby Dodge, giving it a bit sportier of a look than a base Rampage. They're currently mostly primered, which is a bit sad as the apparently silver and blue original colors look pretty nice- if I get to the point of paint before the Challenge I'll likely try and repaint the whole thing along that scheme. There's some damage to some of the body parts, but nothing that is too terrible.

And finally, the drivetrain from a 2.5L turbocharged LeBaron convertible was swapped into the Rampage. Here's where it gets interesting and where the majority of my effort will have to be spent over the coming weeks. While the mechanicals seem to be pretty well sorted- the donor engine's driveshafts were used and appear to be hooked up properly, the shift linkage is connected, and it appears the throttle linkage is as well (the LeBaron apparently had cruise control which was not that I can see transferred over). But the challenge will be the wiring. The full harness from the 2.5L was transferred over with everything still hooked up, so in theory everything should be there that it needs to run- but none of the work to connect and integrate it with the Rampage's electrical system has been done other than some of the wiring from the Rampage having been labeled.

So, first order of business: track down wiring diagrams/schematics for both the Rampage and the 2.5L LeBaron and start figuring out where to start. Mechanically, first thing I'll be doing is pulling the plugs and seeing about spinning the engine by hand, and assuming that is successful powering the starter enough to get it to spin it.

Will try and take some pictures this afternoon when I get home.

Anybody have links to schematics for the LeBaron (or other 2.5L turbo-I cars) and the Rampage?

 

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/18/17 10:28 a.m.

OK, after doing some more reading I'm not 100% certain whether the engine is a 2.2L or 2.5L... I though that only the 2.5L was multiport fuel injected, but apparently both are? I need to figure out how to tell them apart since there's nothing on it that I can tell that indicates which at first glance... -_-;

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
9/18/17 10:51 a.m.

In 89 the Lebaron 'should' have been a 2.5 non intercooled car. I'm sure Vigo or someone will stop by and let you know.  

When I did the 2.5 swap from a Daytona to a K-car I preserved every single bit of Daytona wiring and there was almost no integration with the K-car. I think I had to swap a few connectors. The problem is that you're swapping a K-platform into an L platform. It should be fun. laugh

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/18/17 12:05 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce :

Yeah, I'm figuring there's not going to be a lot of commonality... but at the same time, I don't think that the engine should need a whole lot from the body either since the engine computer is under the hood.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
9/18/17 12:23 p.m.

There should actually be a TON of commonality, but you'll need to figure some of it out. The general body wiring should work the same, it will just have different connectors. The engine is pretty self contained if I remember right. The biggest issue I can see right off hand is the cluster. Once that gets figured out, the rest should be cake as long as you have both wiring diagrams and take your time. 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/18/17 1:41 p.m.

Yep, the SOHC 2.2 and 2.5 were available in turbo with port injection from 1989-1992.

In 1989, Chrysler introduced the "common block" which was exactly the same externally for the 2.2 and 2.5 and was much stronger than previous blocks.  The differences between the two are internal (crank, rods and pistons).

Assuming no one's messed with it too much, a silver intake and lack of IAT sensor in the middle of the plenum above the injectors, indicates a non-intercooled motor and in 89 they were all 2.5L.  A black intake and an IAT sensor indicates and intercooled motor, which should be a 2.2L.  Another inidcator is whether the turbo is a Garrett or a Mitsubishi.  The non-intercooled cars received the tiny Mitsubishi and the intercooled cars received the larger Garrett.

I'm worried about the axles, the Rampage is an L-body and uses shorter axles due to it being about 2 inches more narrow than the K-cars.  So I'd make sure they are correct.  1990 Omni w/TBI automatic axles are the hot ticket for axles on cars with swaps like that, so I'd make sure they are correct before going to far down the road (and grab a spare set to bring with you, they can be a failure point on hard drag launches.)

You can double up the front sway bar to help improve the transition speed.  Though the front bar just binds the crap out of everything and makes corner exits wheel spin city, so I'd suggest a Lincoln locker if you really want to get power down (as much as I don't like them, they are a decent solution for the Challenge).  You can swap in an OBX limited slip with a spacer for the final drive gear and a modified differential cover (its stamped steel) afterward if you're serious about keeping it.

Hopefully they swapped the Shelby Charger front suspension and steering along with the nose as those are pretty handy to have.  That said, the later ZF power steering pump is much nicer to deal with, so hopefully that came over with the newer motor (it has a plastic reservoir and an aluminum body with a better adjustment and hose solution).

The rear is pretty stiff (rated to carry 1000lbs), but make sure the brake bias solution is working or you'll not get any rear brakes (it uses the weight in the bed to determine how much rear brake to allow) and you have to have weight on the rear axle to bleed the brakes.  Lowering the rear impacts this brake bias solution, so if you lower the rear, adjust the connecting rod to compensate.  Rear disc brakes are fancy and easier to maintain, but mostly useless in such a nose heavy FWD car.

Here's some handy links:

http://minimopar.net/perf/brakes.html

http://minimopar.net/ecu/index.html

http://minimopar.net/perf/index.html

http://minimopar.net/fault/index.html

http://thedodgegarage.com/ <---check out the Turbo Database

Like I said, I'll look around for some of my T-D stuff to see if I can help from a distance.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/18/17 1:50 p.m.

The electrical systems for these cars are pretty simple in the grand scheme of things.

after 1988, they combined the ECU and Power Module into one unit under the hood.

So the only things the engine harness needs from the dashboard is simply the ignition switch position.

The only things the dashboard needs from the ECU is the power loss light (for troubleshooting codes, etc.) and tach signal.

The water temp and oil pressure are from the senders directly.

The Rampage has a mechanical speedometer (though the ECU needs the speed sensor input to properly control the idle and cooling fans).

The vacuum harness is important to get right as well.  So once you get the wiring sorted, verify and repair or improve that.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/18/17 2:18 p.m.

Thanks for all the good info! I actually came across the Mini Mopar page earlier trying to track down the wiring diagrams, the pin-out for the computers should VERY useful as well as the other info on the pages.

Though I don't have any of my own pictures, I DO have the ones that the seller had on his eBay listing- the intake manifold/plenum looks to be silver/bare aluminum and I don't think has any sensors on it, so that would lean toward it being the 2.5L as I had assumed.

The original axles are sitting in the bed if I need them as are some other random parts (original radiator, Rampage's AC hardware, column from the LeBaron, etc.). It looks like new/reman '90 Omni axles aren't that expensive if I need to get them. I assume that the way to check would be to see how it behaves through the travel of the front suspension?

I don't know about the Shelby parts other than the body stuff- and I'm sure I wouldn't know how to tell at first glance. :P I didn't think about the power steering- I'll have to check and see if that's hooked up properly or not. Are there manual racks available for these cars at all?

I was actually wondering what the block with the brake lines under the bed was when I looked under it when the car arrived- that's interesting to know about, and good to know when it comes to checking/bleeding the brakes.

Sounds like overall getting it running initially shouldn't be too difficult- it sounds like as long as it has power that the engine harness really just needs the ignition switch position- which I would assume just means power on that pin to indicate that it's in 'run' (and 'start/run' if I'm not using my trigger-starter...).

I definitely appreciate the advice and help!

 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/18/17 2:34 p.m.

Shelby firm-feel power steering racks are 14:1 or 2.25 turns lock to lock.  If its more than that, then you've got a slower rack (not the worst thing in the world, but you might put a spinner knob on the wheel for the autocross laugh).

Unless the body parts came from an 83 or 84 Shelby Charger it doesn't sound like they swapped the front suspension over since it still has 4-lug wheels.  Aside from the steering rack check, if it has 220mm rear drums (versus the 200mm drums) and vented front rotors, then they may have done you a favor there.

Luckily, you can convert to vented front rotors and larger calipers without changing the wheel pattern and the rear can be converted using any k-car with 220mm rear drums by using the backing plates and hardware with 4-lug 220mm drums (early 84 Daytona/Laser/Shelby Charger/Omni GLH).  For autocross it isn't as critical since you'll want heat in the brakes and reducing unsprung weight is good, but I suspect at the big end of the drag course, brakes with more thermal capacity could be handy wink

The wrong axles won't physically fit without bottoming out in the inner joints when you attempt to install the front uprights.

You'll want to make room in your budget for polyurethane motor mounts, it helps with launches and reduces the chances of ripping the front core support out, plus helping with torque steer with rattling your teeth out like filled stock mounts do.  JohnnyBQuick here runs http://polybushings.com and has an autocross GLH-S among other great cars, so check out his site and give him a call once you're close to worrying about handling, etc.

http://fwd-performance.com has nifty parts and they know a lot about the cars, worth giving them a call and chatting a bit if you have the time.  http://turbos-unleashed.com is another great vendor that still supports the cars.  Both have reprogrammed ECU's or know someone who can do it, so they should be able to help with wiring issues.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/19/17 8:45 a.m.

Had some time to take some pictures last night while looking over the car more closely...

Clearly someone had been working on repainting the hood & Shelby body parts... wish they hadn't, but I suppose having parts already primered isn't the worst thing. You can see (some of) the wiring mess I'm going to have to deal with...

Passenger side rear is pretty good except right in front of the wheel where there's a bad rust spot you can't see well in this image- ironically very similar to the one that my El Camino had...

I'm pretty sure that's not a stock rear bumper...

 

 

The worst of the body- I'm pretty sure much of this side is bondo. Do they even make replacement body panels for these things like they do for the Elkies, or will I have to do it from scratch (if I worry about it at all)?

Interior isn't that bad- it's not great, but it appears to all be there and even the seats aren't too bad.

Engine, obviously.

To more specific things... what is this? And where should it be?

Looking down at the turbo and intake- what is supposed to be hooked up to the rather large connection on the hose between the turbo and the intake/plenum?

More general notes/thoughts from looking the car over...

There are a few locations on the frame under the car that I'm going to have to look at and see whether I need to be welding in reinforcements or not. Hopefully I won't need to- and none look aad enough for me to think I couldn't reinforce them properly- but it would be wise to address if necessary.

It does not have vented front rotors, so I'm assuming it has the smaller rear drums as well (didn't take the rear wheels off to measure).

Not wholly unsurprisingly it's missing the middle section of the exhaust. The downpipe from the turbo looks to be solidly larger (again, unsurprisingly) than that of the back (original) portion of the exhaust. Will have to address that- likely by just running a pipe out to the side and back from the downpipe, most of what I've read says with the turbo a muffler isn't as necessary on these engines.

It took me forever to find the starter on this thing. Holy hell that's an inconvenient place for it! How the hell does the turbo not cook that thing in short order?

The electrical is definitely going to be a challenge... I'm unfortunately thinking that I'll need to really anally label everything that is hooked up now, unhook everything and take both harnesses out of the car, separate the things I won't need (all the Rampage engine hookups, body stuff from the turbo harness), and combine them into one.

wae
wae Dork
9/19/17 9:09 a.m.
Ashyukun said:

To more specific things... what is this? And where should it be?

Looking down at the turbo and intake- what is supposed to be hooked up to the rather large connection on the hose between the turbo and the intake/plenum?

 

That first thing looks like a vehicle speed sensor and gear assembly.  That would go into the transaxle at the diff (if that is anything like the other K-derived cars I've played with).

For that port on the hose there...  That's the charge pipe, right?  Under pressure?  So, no intercooler.  Does it appear to be stock?  I would guess blow off valve.  That vacuum hose that's hanging right below it might go to the BOV as well.

 

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/19/17 9:12 a.m.

I was thinking that the geared sensor might be the speed sensor, but couldn't find where it should go- will have to look more closely.

Yeah, doesn't look like this engine originally had an intercooler. Doesn't mean it's going to stay that way though. It does appear to be stock from what I can tell...

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
9/19/17 9:37 a.m.

We're the engine and transmission together in the Lebaron? I think they theoretically could have maybe had a manual, but my guess is that the engine and electronics were once hooked to an auto, and that maybe the speedo gear you're seeing is for that. 

 

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/19/17 9:46 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce :

Yeah, the whole drivetrain was transplanted from the LeBaron as one piece. Doing some looking on RockAuto and at the wiring diagram for the computer it looks like it is the speed sensor. Will have to take a closer look at the transmission and figure out where it's supposed to go...

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/19/17 9:56 a.m.

You need a speed sensor for a car with a manual speedometer output and the electrical output.

I think minimopar had a write-up on speed sensors.

The open port in the intake tract is for the air filter which connects to the center of the turbo and should have a hose that runs to an airbox mounted right next to the charge pipe.  The smaller nipple on the charge hose goes to the factory BOV which is mounted in the airbox on the non-turbo cars (it was there to reduce the noise of the compressor stalling).

The starter does eventually get cooked if the factory insulation is missing (there's a nifty bit of foil backed fiberglass insulation with a clip to hold it to the starter solenoid) and the air deflector that mounts to the K-member behind the axles.  If that's missing, get some insulating wrap and a ziptie.  Also remember, heat rises, so its really the intake that gets cooked :/

The starter is really not that bad once you learn the trick for pulling the axles (pop the nuts on the outside, drop the balljoint bolts and then pry down on the control arm to swing the upright out of the way and pull the axle).

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
9/19/17 9:57 a.m.

Oh! This is exciting!

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/19/17 9:59 a.m.

Speed sensor goes in the top of the passenger side extension housing next to the differential, its driven by the passenger axle shaft.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/19/17 10:03 a.m.
mazdeuce said:

We're the engine and transmission together in the Lebaron? I think they theoretically could have maybe had a manual, but my guess is that the engine and electronics were once hooked to an auto, and that maybe the speedo gear you're seeing is for that. 

Nope, the later cars all had electronic speedometers, the older cars had mechanical speedometers.  So he needs an early style speed sensor with the mechanical speedometer output.  They plugged the stock Rampage speedometer drive into the transaxle and just left the speed sensor on the side.  I suspect if you look on RockAuto for 87 Shelby Charger Turbo speed sensors you'll find the proper sensor, but I might have  a spare in my pile, I'll try to look this weekend.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/19/17 10:46 a.m.

OK, good to know about the speed sensor- looking up the 87 Charger one I think I'm understanding what the situation is with it now.

Yeah, the starter has the heat shield in place- it's why it took me a while to find it because it really hides it from view. That gives me some hope that I won't have to replace it...

There is an airbox in the bed, but I wasn't sure whether it was the Rampage's original one or from the LeBaron- I'll have to take a closer look at it and see if it has the BOV in it or not. Given I hope to add an intercooler (if I have the time) I may not need to worry about it though...

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/19/17 11:18 a.m.

In reply to Ashyukun :

Yeah, that looks like the factory airbox for the lebaron sitting in the bed.

The factory BOV's are prone to failing internally and leaking, so if its missing or damaged, don't sweat it too much and replace it with a better one.  This is especially true if you're adding an intercooler.

A SRT4 intercooler should fit nicely in the lower opening of the Shelby nose.  The factory intercooler solution for the GLH-S would be perfect, since it mounts it next to the radiator, so the hose runs are fairly short, but they are extremely rare and most need to have the radiators re-cored as there aren't any new ones available.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
9/19/17 11:41 a.m.

Mopar!!!!

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/19/17 12:08 p.m.

I'll have to see what I can find cheaply as far as intercoolers go- there's someone not too far away with a stock Focus ST intercooler for a decent price (though still too far to go until I get one of the vehicles running). I think I'll try and get it running in stock form as best as I can and then worry about the intercooler- assuming the stock hardware is in decent shape...

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/19/17 12:30 p.m.

Good plan.  It should be relatively quick with the 150hp motor as is.

BTW, there was a RWD Rampage built by someone, which seemed like a fun project.

Then there was the guy who built a dual-motored Rampage with another Turbo drivetrain in the back and box flares front/rear.

So, you know there's room for nuttiness if you enjoy your first taste of boosted trucklette fun :)

wae
wae Dork
9/19/17 12:31 p.m.

Not sure what the fit is like, but there's at least one yard up here that's usually thick with turbo PT Cruisers.  If space is a concern, I seem to recall that there were some Saabs with fairly compact side-mount intercoolers.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/19/17 1:43 p.m.
wae said:

Not sure what the fit is like, but there's at least one yard up here that's usually thick with turbo PT Cruisers.  If space is a concern, I seem to recall that there were some Saabs with fairly compact side-mount intercoolers.

Looking at the PT Cruiser's intercooler on RockAuto, I have to imagine there'd be room for it- there's a LOOOOT of space with that wedge nose on the front- especially when you consider that the radiator is biased to one side.

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