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Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/19/17 1:46 p.m.

In reply to Stefan :

I'm trying to learn from past mistakes as well as taking into account the considerable time crunch I'm under- going all-out from the get-go and trying to do lots of non-essential mods isn't going to do me any good if I don't get the engine running and the car actually drivable. Once that's done, I can worry about things like upping the power and making handling/braking mods.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/19/17 2:11 p.m.

In reply to Ashyukun :

Makes perfect sense.  There's a reason why many of projects don't get finished and quite a bit of it us due to perfectionism.

So, lets get it running and driving, then you can worry about making it reliable and pretty before you start worrying about faster.

The dump out the side for the exhaust is a perfect solution, especially since you've got side skirts that don't extend the entire way.  In fact Shelby's personal Shelby Charger was customized with a pair of square outlets mounted in the side skirts (one side was a dummy set).

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/19/17 4:01 p.m.

My biggest problem is usually biting off more than I can chew at once... but in this case, the whole project is pretty big so I know I need to tackle things one step at a time.

This evening's task will be to dig out all of the nice little tags wae sent as part of his GRM Santa package last Christmas and label all of the wires under the hood and take pictures of what they connect to, and if I have time pull both harnesses out and start working out what from each needs to stay and what can be separated out. I think the task will look a lot less daunting without almost twice as many wires as necessary under the hood!

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/19/17 4:07 p.m.

Good plan.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
9/19/17 5:41 p.m.

Can't wait to see this one in person!

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
9/19/17 8:03 p.m.

Can't believe Vigo hasn't jumped in yet. His Spidie-sence must be tingling off the hook. 

tb
tb Dork
9/19/17 8:30 p.m.

Very Cool!

In most crowds I am considered pretty knowledgeable about these cars but will easily admit that when it comes to this group my wisdom is only average at best. That being said, I will gladly help out in any way possible while down in Florida.

There are many advantages to the turbo dodge as a platform, perhaps chief among them is that they are not at all particularly complicated; I am sure that you will have it running well in no time.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
9/19/17 8:57 p.m.
Appleseed said:

Can't believe Vigo hasn't jumped in yet. His Spidie-sence must be tingling off the hook. 

I've been trying to resist emailing him all day just to tell him. I'm 95% sure he's done this exact swap.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
9/19/17 9:07 p.m.

I can probably help with the wiring diagrams.  I'll pm you my phone number and email tomorrow.

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
9/19/17 9:19 p.m.

I saw the title and clicked on it with much excitement and anticipation.     

Then I started reading and was thinking "WHERE'S THE PICTURES! I NEED PICTURES!!"    

Then I realized I was not in the $2017 classifieds section. The disappointment washed over me like a wave.   

But I'm looking forward to the build. 

I hate utes, but love Rampages. Donttwll Aussie. 

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
9/20/17 1:01 a.m.

I found this seconds before bedtime. I will try to catch up and offer what help i can tomorrow. Cool project!

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
9/20/17 6:57 a.m.

Ok I have the 89 wiring diagram book so I can get you the LeBaron pinout for sure.  The closest thing L body wise I have is 85 I'll have to check if it has the n/a wiring in it later today.  I'd guess 85 carb car would be the same as the 82.  If not my local library used to have Mitchell manuals that had the factory diagrams in them and I can scan them out of there if they still have them.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/20/17 8:07 a.m.

Thanks everyone, I'll definitely take all the help and advice I can get!

So yesterday didn't go badly- but also didn't go as good as I would have liked.

The Rampage's engine harness is labeled (as best I can, there were a lot of connectors- presumably for the engine, which is obviously not there- that I had no way of telling what they were for, but hopefully don't need to worry about) and out of the car. The LeBaron's harness is labeled, but still not totally out of the car because I ran out of time before I needed to get dinner started. I certainly would have had it out were it not for the fact that I had not clue what I was doing with getting the alternator connection unhooked so ended up having to pull the whole alternator- and then realized I needed to pull the fan and/or rad to get the harness that runs to the passenger side lights & such out (which I think I'll be able to largely eliminate since I'll be using the Rampage's wiring for most if not all of that stuff).

A few notes- does anyone know what this connector is for? It connects into the firewall a bit left-of-center (looking aft) and has metal snaps that hold it into place and is part of the Rampage wiring. Sorry, I realized after the fact that I should have kept the wires visible to check colors...

Also... the more that I get into this, the more I'm concerned that I should do a more in-depth going-over of the engine and fix anything that needs it vs. just pushing hard and fast to get it running and going from there. This is driven by the fact that I'm increasingly convinced that the swap was not done very smartly- or at least the way that I would have done it. It looks to me like whoever did the swap just pulled the engine out of the LeBaron and immediately dropped it into the Rampage and hooked up all the mechanical/fluid bits (side note: it's possible that it has the LeBaron's steering rack, I'm not sure how to tell- but it does appear to be hooked up to the pump at least) without doing any refresh/maintenance work on it while it was out of the car. The biggest evidence of this to me is the fact that it really looks like the distributor cap hasn't been changed in a LONG time- long enough that when I tried initially to remove the screws holding the plastic shield & the ones holding the cap on I had to stop because they were starting to strip out. Also, there's this:

At least the upper rad connection is badly bent up- I'll have to weigh whether or not I think it's worth replacing the rad or not (certainly couldn't hurt, but it's obviously additional expense...).

Also- I'm assuming it must exist, but is there a bypass pulley available for the AC? The PS pump runs on the same belt, so I can't really just leave the compressor off. The car came with all of the AC parts for the Rampage, and I assume that they're common between the 2.2/2.5- but at least for the Challenge I'd prefer to not have to worry about the AC. EDIT: After a bit of reading, it looks like I'm off a bit and the AC had its own belt- so there's no need for a bypass pulley. Which becomes: does anyone have a spare AC/alt bracket (so I can trim one to clean up the bay a bit), or a non-AC car alt bracket?

Finally- looking ahead a bit, in addition to the wiring I'm going to need vacuum diagrams for the engine so I can replace the lines and make sure everything goes where it needs to.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
9/20/17 8:30 a.m.

There is a non-ac alternator bracket that is much cleaner looking, and a non-ac crank pulley that is slightly lighter. However, those are truly miniscule issues so i would ignore them for now. My .02. 

The vacuum for the engine can be broken down to a VERY basic system. If you don't plan to run computer controlled boost (i.e. just run a manual boost controller like most people) or maintain a functional EVAP system (0.0% of swappers do) then ALL you need is 1 line to your boost control, one line to your fuel pressure regulator, one line to your map sensor, and one line to your brake booster. That's it! If you decide to run a BOV you will need a line to that too. The only real hangup is that one of the ports coming out the top of your throttle body goes to a hole in front of the throttle blade, so it will be boost-only, not vac/boost. I forget which but you can figure this out by looking at it carefully or blowing into it and seeing where it comes out in the throttle body. 

Im going to pm you my cell# because i don't check the forums near as often as i used to but you can text me as much as you want. There is one guy in PA with a supercharged Daytona that texts me about 10 times a day on average for tech advice. 

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/20/17 9:07 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

Thanks, I'll try not to be quite as bad about texting as the Daytona guy! cheeky

Regarding the boost control, this is something that I've been wondering about since I'm digging into the wiring on the car (and thus, the ECM or whatever they called it). If I'm going with a manual boost control, do I need to do anything with the computer for that? Or will it run just fine with it not controlling things itself?

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
9/20/17 9:33 a.m.

Ok I found my 85 manual but my 89 manual was apparently stolen when my garage was tossed.  You can just delete the a/c compressor and get the non a/c belt the bracket looks cleaner but isn't worth the budget hit unless you need the nth degree of cleanliness and weight savings.  That right side bulkhead is the area the later turbo cars had a pass thru for the ecm so its possible the archaic carb pcm went through that area.  As for boost you can run up to 2 bar before the factory cutout will occur,  but the factory fuel map doesn't add fuel above 12 so that's a safe setting for manual control.  If its a mitsu turbo it only pushes out hot air at that point anyway.  If it is a Garrett you can run up to 20 but need to reprogram the ecu at that point.

 

Like I said before I'll send you my number and email,  I don't forum as much as I used to since I don't have home internet.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
9/20/17 9:40 a.m.

Just looked at some of the pictures.  You have the mitsu turbo for sure since its a non intercooler car and the rampage still has 4 lug wheels so I doubt they swapped in the Shelby Charger front k frame and suspension as it'd be 5 lug at that point.  There isnt much you can do for brakes without swapping to 5 lug but it isn't hard to do. 

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/20/17 9:49 a.m.

In reply to minivan_racer :

Since the Garrett turbo sounds to be far superior, is it worth the time/cost to try and swap it out, or should I likely just go with what I've got for now?

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/20/17 10:26 a.m.

Doing some pricing out of things...

New front struts and air shocks for the rear (have had a hard time finding normal rear shock part #s for the Rampage, and having the adjustability of the air shocks on the rear has some appeal) would be about $150. Don't think I'm going to get away with not doing this, but we'll have to see.

New distributor & wires would be about $80... would like to not have to replace the distributor and just the cap & wires as that would be a fraction of the cost, but we'll see if I can get the cap off...

Replacing pretty much the whole cooling system (rad, t-stat, hoses, pump) would be about $125. Not doing the pump & rad obviously drops that down a LOT, but I'll have to see how well the ones on it now behave. The pump doesn't look bad, but the rad is obviously beat up a bit and probably not as efficient as a new one would be from corrosion/buildup on the inside.

 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/20/17 10:37 a.m.

The lebaron steering rack won't fit, but the hose connections and pumps are all mostly interchangeable.  If the hoses are connected, don't sweat it, just make sure it doesn't leak.

The K-members aren't interchangeable as the K-cars are a couple of inches wider.

Get non-A/C belts and you're fine.  You can cut down the A/C bracket to get easier access to the number 1 spark plug and drop a little weight, but its not critical since the non-A/C brackets are a little harder to find.

The Water pump is driven off the back of its belt on the 89 and later cars, so make sure you have the proper belt.

That connector on the firewall could be for the HVAC fan.

Corroded cap hold down screws are a common issue.  Get a factory rain shield and anti-sieze for reassembly, then drill the screws out as they come in the caps.  Gotta love aluminum distributors and steel screws.  Worst case, you can get rebuilt distributors and they aren't hard to remove to get better access to the screws, etc.

The plug wire ends are the contacts inside the cap, so its more important to replace those than it is to replace the cap.  You still need to replace the rotor, so you might as well get it off and replaced.

I would order a Shelby Charger Turbo radiator and hoses from RockAuto, since those will fit the engine and your car better than the LeBaron pieces.  Cooling is critical in L-bodies due to their smaller engine bays, so its worth the budget hit to use new parts in that situation.

The Mitsu turbo is good for 18psi being overspun and generating more heat than power, an intercooler is pretty much required for anything over stock.  The stock computer provides fuel for 14.7psi (the limit of the MAP sensor and programing), but the stock boost control algorythm will try to open the wastegate at 10-11psi and if it sees more than that it will cut fuel to the engine and flash the power loss light.  So you need to trick the ECU to avoid this and manually control the wastegate via a controlled bleed valve.  Read Gus Mahon's site for a better understanding of the solution.

Swapping turbos is an engine out or a head off proposition in that car, I wouldn't bother unless you need to or you find extra time and a good deal on a Garrett.  Save it for next year.  Keep an eye out for a Super 60 or similar turbo as that is where the power will come from.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/20/17 10:47 a.m.

Yikes! The turbo-Charger rads are over twice the cost ($145 vs $68) of the LeBaron ones!

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/20/17 10:56 a.m.

You can probably hack the lebaron one to fit, but beware of the filler neck positioning and the overflow bottle.

Like I said, cooling is important on these cars, so don't scrimp there.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/20/17 11:52 a.m.
Stefan said:

You can probably hack the lebaron one to fit, but beware of the filler neck positioning and the overflow bottle.

Like I said, cooling is important on these cars, so don't scrimp there.

Looking it up, interestingly the Rampage uses the same radiator as the turbo Charger does, so I'm guessing that the rad in the car now is the original Rampage one. If it looks like the hoses will seal properly on the one in it now I can see about trying to clean the inside with either vinegar or some radiator cleaners.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
9/20/17 12:58 p.m.

Doing a bit of browsing of fwdperformance.com it reminded me of one of the other things that will need to be done before I can get the car actually running: the fuel pump.

The Rampage's original engine apparently used a mechanical fuel pump, while the later cars/engines used electric ones. I have an inline pump sitting around- I believe it's a Holley pump that I got from eastsidemav years ago- but I'm not certain it will put out enough pressure. Any suggestions as to what to use for it? Something like this with a pressure regulator (assuming it needs it)?

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/20/17 2:02 p.m.

I was wondering about that too.

 

Fuel pressure regulator is built into the fuel rail, just provide fuel pressure to the feed line, ensure the filter is EFI rated and make sure the return is unrestricted.

a Walbro 255 is the go to standard for fuel pumps on these cars. So use those specs in your search.

 Base fuel pressure is 55psi plus or minus intake pressure (so around 44psi at idle, 65psi at 10psi of boost).

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