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minivan_racer
minivan_racer UltraDork
2/24/17 6:37 p.m.

That part isn't unique to the R/T but it is unique to a late model year range because of the control arm design. Any FWD mopar with the same style control arm will work. Honestly the only reason I'd swap it over is because it has a better front geometry than the older strut rod k car does.

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
2/24/17 6:48 p.m.

In reply to minivan_racer:

I am going to swap it in. I think if I section the creased area, straighten it and weld in a new pie piece, the sectioning will weaken it enough to move the metal and the pie piece will bring the strength back up to spec. I thought the member was more unusual in that the pivot points for the control arms were different to change the roll center for the car and that was not used on many/any other models.

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
3/16/17 7:47 p.m.

Today I took a sawzall (and a twin cutter, which is a handy little tool that goes through sheet steel like butter) removed the front of the Spirit and got it to the point where I can get the engine out. There is more damage but, except for the oil pan, the engine itself appears to be OK.

The SBEC got the cover busted off of it but the epoxied section that contains the computer is undamaged.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
3/16/17 7:58 p.m.
WhatistheWheel wrote: In reply to minivan_racer: I am going to swap it in. I think if I section the creased area, straighten it and weld in a new pie piece, the sectioning will weaken it enough to move the metal and the pie piece will bring the strength back up to spec. I thought the member was more unusual in that the pivot points for the control arms were different to change the roll center for the car and that was not used on many/any other models.

Like he said, its not unique to the R/T, but it is a running change made to the late model K-based rigs. It does improve the geometry and handling like you state, but again, aside from the rack and swaybar, there isn't anything unique there to worry too much. They are available in most 1990 and later Chrysler FWD vehicles.

I used one on my old 87 Shelby CSX and it helped a bit. Try to find one from a manual car (a V6 manual would work just as well as a 4-cylinder).

If you don't find one from a 5-speed car, you can add the bracket for the rear transaxle mount by cutting and welding or buying a new bracket from Polybushings.com

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
3/23/17 9:08 p.m.

Finally got the engine free and on a stand. Fortunately the block, head, and turbo are undamaged, but they are about the only things that survived. The ac compressor, alternator, water pump, oil pan,intermediate shaft, power steering pump, and all the motor mount brackets gave it up. I am still determined to continue with the project and, thanks to assistance here have found potential replacements for the cross member and transmission housing. But now I need some more help/ideas. I would really like to avoid buying another complete car to get parts for this car(although that may be the cheapest and easiest solution), because I am running out of room in the yard (and cars get harder to dispose of when you strip them). Is there a place that carries lots of used parts specific to this era of turbo Chryslers?

This picture of the transmission better shows how horrific the impact with the other car was. It may take more than the economy pack of JB Weld to fix this.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UltraDork
3/23/17 10:20 p.m.

I'm pretty sure that most of what you listed is not TIII specific, the only things that might be are the intermediate shaft and power steering pump. There is a guy on the forums in AZ that has a bunch of NOS stuff but he is proud of it. If you hit one of the forums with a wanted ad I'm sure he'd offer up what he had.

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
3/24/17 6:34 p.m.

Tomorrow we go on a junkyard hunt. There is a local yard with at least a half dozen '90 and up Chrysler products in it. Fingers crossed for mount brackets, a cross member, alternator, PS pump, and a 523. Today I stripped the engine of everything except the turbo(I needed time to put a new dash in the Super Duke. It runs, might as well have the display work). The motor is super clean inside We are going to try an electrolysis tank on the rusty pulleys. We have used it on cast iron cook wear with excellent results.

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
3/29/17 7:08 p.m.

The junkyard proved fruitful. Got a crossmember,front, and passenger side motor mounts. Also picked up a trunk release that I should be able to get working with the LeBaron lift gate. The crossmember is from an automatic so it will need to have the bobble strut mount added, but otherwise the pieces were perfect. Today I got the pedal assemblies, shifter, and all the cables out of the car. The biggest hassle was removing the seat. It is a power unit and was all the way forward. I could not fit into the tiny gap between it and the firewall (Well, I could fit, but I could only get one arm in there with me). The seat was right on top of the bolts holding it in. I also removed the gauge assembly. The size is quite a bit different from the unit in the LeBaron, So I will have to figure out if I really want to graft it in. If I use the entire harness from the Spirit, the dash will plug right up and is fully gauged so no need to buy a tach and monitor gauges, except O2. Poor car, only 82,000 miles on it.

I have been trying to keep everything organized. It has been a while since I took this much stuff off at one time. All the bankers boxes have "like" components and their hardware. There are kitty litter tubs of heavy bits. I have even kept the broken stuff because you just never know.For instance the broken intermediate shaft bracket is going to be a template for its replacement. That rascal has been impossible to find.

And my helper, Dixie, hard at work. (My other helper refuses to be photographed)

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
4/1/17 8:53 p.m.

Happy day. I found a transmission, A523('93 model, apparently the best one not an A568) for Methyl and not only was it only $200, it was 21 miles from my house. After checking car-part.com pretty regularly, it popped up. I had to work so my wonderful wife picked it up for me. Then, being April 1st, she pranked me. When I got home she told me that when she went to pick it up, it showed up in their computer but they did not have it. Then on top of that she told me that my motorcycle had a flat. When I went to check it out I spotted the transmission sitting right next to the bike :-D

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
4/3/17 8:58 p.m.

Went out to pick up an Edelbrock Performer, off CL, for Mojo's Valimino project and the guy turned out to be a Chrysler master tech with a turbo Dodge fixation. I got a water pump and shift cable from him, as well as a couple of Autometer gauges, for cheap.

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
4/8/17 3:20 p.m.

Another tiny step, the removal of the rear suspension. Now pretty much everything is off and the time has come to start cleaning, de-rusting, and repainting everything along with servicing and replacing all the wear parts. Speaking of replacing parts, Eibach sprigs have been ordered, along with Koni SRT-4 inserts for the front. Some Gas-adjusts will be picked up locally for the rear and I will be polybushing-ing it all around.

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UltraDork
4/8/17 6:37 p.m.

The kybs are a good choice for the rear. If you lower the rear a significant amount, you'll need a adjustable panhard bar.

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
4/12/17 1:29 p.m.

I am glad the KYBs are a good choice because the options are limited. I am going to cut the bushing ends off the panhard bar and make an adjustable tubular one. The springs will probably drop the car an inch or more and I read (somewhere, maybe here) that the panhard will push the axle over when it is lowered and probably bend at some point. I might have mentioned it before but the previous owner installed the wrong rotors, 10 1/4", on the front so the pads were hanging over the rotor. 11" rotors were tough to source, I finally found a dealer that had some NOS and ordered a pair from him. Fortunately the rears are in pretty good shape because they appear to be completely unavailable. We are going to run them through the electrolysis tank and they should look like new.

Close enough

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
4/12/17 1:39 p.m.

Also be aware of the "jacking" effect that lowering the rear will have on braking performance.

Basically, lowering the rear past horizontal at rest can cause the rear axle to work like a huge lever to force the weight forward much more quickly than you might desire and cause premature brake lockup. When it at stock height or horizontal, the lever works in the opposite direction and has to fight the spring and shock so the weight shift is slowed slightly. You'll probably need to run the front struts slightly stiffer to compensate.

Ideally, the forward pickup points for the trailing arm would be raised to compensate, but that isn't reasonable on a street car without much cutting and welding and really, one would just adapt a Neon rear suspension (or better) if you're going that far.

I'm surprised RockAuto didn't have the 11" rotors.

To be honest, the rear brakes are so under utilized on these cars that the disc brakes were only added for marketing and ease of maintenance, so as long as the rotors are within spec and the calipers are working, run them.

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
4/21/17 6:08 p.m.

In reply to Stefan:

The fronts will be Konis so I should be able to get them adjusted to suit. I am going to use an adjustable proportioning valve (the stocker is for ABS and would take extra plumbing to get it work and not be adjustable) to hopefully get a good match between front and rear. Rock Auto may have the fronts but using several searches, including the factory part number I had very little show up. The rotors I got were OK pricing and brand new in some really old NOS boxes. For the rears, I want them to look good and be from the Spirit, so they are going on. I used an electrolysis set up to clean them and they are turning out pretty good. This is after an hour or so.

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
7/10/17 7:17 p.m.

I have made nearly no progress in two months (Finishing a degree and working full time ). Got the car in the air, got everything loose but the suspension and motor are still in place. Ash (Mojo) did get me this for my birhtday, which will come in handy for the all new brake and fuel lines: It does way more than I will ever need but I love good tools, and it makes very nice double flares.

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
7/10/17 7:45 p.m.

I was looking for an Eagle, this will have to do

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Dork
10/10/17 9:00 p.m.

Cool build! 

ssswitch
ssswitch Dork
10/11/17 8:54 a.m.

This is coming along great so far. A turbo Dodge is definitely on my bucket list, but they're getting thin on the ground.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
10/11/17 9:38 a.m.

Instagram brought me back to your thread. Awaiting the incoming update..

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
10/11/17 7:37 p.m.

I took a bunch of pictures and did a moderate amount of work without posting anything. Mojo insists that I put up some of this stuff so here are is what has been happening lately.

I got some Koni inserts for a dart and put them in the housings from the LeBaron. I was going to use the Spirit housings but they have a large cowl that made cutting the tops off problematic. The Lebaron struts are also lighter and have a little extra clearance. 

First I had to trim the inserts to fit the strut bearings. I considered the Dart bearings but they are top mount and would not work without a lot of finagling. I did this with an angle grinder and a bench mounted grinder.

Unfortunately the bearing I got the measurements from did not come with any hardware so I need to cut them down another 8mm. I found this out while assembling them. I did get some cheap off road dust boots to protect the shaft and the springs fit OK. It also turns out that the strut bearings need to be indexed by eye as they are angled ( I reassembled them based on the old spring marks and one is 180^ off)

I got the rear suspension together and on, using KYB gas-adjusts (After a failed search for some AGX's)  poly bushings and spring seats from Poly Bushing (Great guy, quick response, great parts) and some NOS Eibach springs.

I had to cut the bumps stops down an inch and half to match the shorter springs.

I also made an adjustable panhard bar using the ends from the stocker and a piece of 4130. Poly Bushings are used in the ends.

Then I made this cat for a friend.

I got the 568 with the busted case apart (I used to rebuild big truck trannies, that was way easier, the hole was big enough for the parts to come out) and the 525(?) is waiting for me to get around to tearing it down for the swap. I am also debating on getting one of those Chinese Torsen knockoffs and installing it with the ring gear from the 525 (I think that was the trick to get it to work) but I used to run a lsd in my rally cross car and had issues running wide under power, so I probably will skip it. I remember something from Gus's page about preloading the suspension by shimming the sway bar. That would be cheap and easy to undo.

 

WhatistheWheel
WhatistheWheel New Reader
10/11/17 7:54 p.m.

I lost motivation for awhile. Even though there are plenty of "free" things to do I was waiting for funds to build back up. But then I found myself bored and dropped the engine. It is a 2.6 Mitsu and appears quite a but bigger than the III that will be replacing it. This is probably because it still has all the bits hanging on it. I need to get the AC bracket off, as I want to keep it and I will mod this one to fit the new block. I am ditching the alternator (probably use a GM to replace it, the Mopar ones are pricey)

I had to hoist the wagon for a little extra clearance. I thought I had the car high enough on the stands but lacked about 3 inches of clearing.

Now I have this nice hole for the turbo motor. It needs to be cleaned and I need to chase all the wiring down and remove anything that is not needed, there are an awful lot of relays under there that are taking up space.  I am going to keep the Lebaron electrics to run the lights and accessories. The engine will be managed by Megasquirt which will be pretty much isolated except for the power wire. While the engine is out I am going to redo the brake plumbing, swap master cylinders, figure out my proportioning valve and see about a high pressure pump and hard lines for fuel. I need to rebuild the rear hubs (parts in the trunk), figure out what size intercooler will work (and how to keep the grill in place. It is spring loaded and the springs are in prime intercooler territory), make a strut brace, depower and rebuild the steering rack, make the stock console work with the five speed, and about six pages of other stuff.

 

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