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M0PARker
M0PARker New Reader
12/11/21 9:43 a.m.

I've been a lurker now for quite some time, and thought it would be fun to start my own thread.  I'm a long time PT Cruiser weirdo, so here's some info on my silver cruiser, and my Dodge Rampage project.

The PT is a 2004 limited turbo, so it came with the turbo-lite 210 hp tune and auto trans.  Added a Mopar Stage 1 ECU in maybe 2011 or so, and swapped to a T350 five speed from a 2001 PT in 2013, using a Stratus clutch.  I was on auto trans ECU for about a year and then switched to a Stage 1 manual trans ECU.  The Stratus clutch felt great for daily driving, but slipped at full boost.  I got an ACT clutch, and installed a log manifold and Mitusbishi 20g turbo at the same time.  It now has 750cc injectors, 3 bar map/tip, and tune.

The Rampage had front floorboards rotted out, and I bought it without knowing anything really, since it came with no keys, so I never heard it run.  It all worked out though, transferred to my name and registered no problem, and got it running ok.  Floors are done, fixed all the cracked seam sealer that caused a bunch of leaks, and interior is pretty much all there now.  An opportunity for a free 2002 manual trans PT fell in my lap, so I pulled the original engine and plan to run the PT engine with all stock electronics through the A460 four speed, so I'm right in the middle of that conversion.

I have this gold E36 M3box PT Cruiser too for winters / dirty work.

I started on bodywork and switched focus on the engine swap, so I need to get back to that at some point.  Here's my plans for wheels, but still need to get tires.

So I was talking with my wife about Lemon's road rallies about a month ago, and was surprised that she was super into the idea.  The goal is to take this car on the Detroit-Buffalo rally next July, so I am hoping that this tread will help keep me progressing the build!

edit: uploaded photos

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP HalfDork
12/11/21 10:18 a.m.

The PT Cruiser is looking great! Always awesome to see a few more fwd turbo dodges on here smiley

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
12/11/21 11:48 a.m.

Pics aren't coming through for me but sounds like some cool stuff

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/11/21 12:08 p.m.
jfryjfry said:

Pics aren't coming through for me but sounds like some cool stuff

Same here

M0PARker
M0PARker New Reader
12/11/21 3:16 p.m.
jfryjfry said:

Pics aren't coming through for me but sounds like some cool stuff

I used Google Photos URLs for the images.  Does everyone else use the upload option?

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
12/11/21 4:18 p.m.
Antihero (Forum Supporter) said:
jfryjfry said:

Pics aren't coming through for me but sounds like some cool stuff

Same here

Nope.... Nada.... 

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
12/11/21 4:20 p.m.
M0PARker said:
jfryjfry said:

Pics aren't coming through for me but sounds like some cool stuff

I used Google Photos URLs for the images.  Does everyone else use the upload option?

Most of use is using the forum's own image hosting facility.

I use my phone, so just above the text box there is a "mountain-in-picture-frame" icon. Just use that and post from there

Also, spotting the time difference between South Africa and the site's time zone..... 

M0PARker
M0PARker New Reader
12/11/21 7:20 p.m.

Cool, hopefully photos show up now after using the upload function.  

I fit the trans to the engine today.  Rampage starter interferes with the exhaust manifold, maybe the block too.  There's a smaller starter available (Nippondenso versus Bosch I believe) so need to figure that out next. 

Dead_Sled
Dead_Sled HalfDork
12/11/21 7:23 p.m.

Photos are up yes

Dead_Sled
Dead_Sled HalfDork
12/11/21 7:33 p.m.

Having reviewed the photographic evidence, you'll fit in well around here.

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
12/11/21 11:40 p.m.
M0PARker said:

Cool, hopefully photos show up now after using the upload function.  

I fit the trans to the engine today.  Rampage starter interferes with the exhaust manifold, maybe the block too.  There's a smaller starter available (Nippondenso versus Bosch I believe) so need to figure that out next. 

Yap, definitely working now

bgkast
bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/12/21 2:13 a.m.

In for turbo Dodge content!

bonylad
bonylad GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/12/21 9:17 a.m.

 

I approve of this vehicular lunacy and demand to see more!

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
12/12/21 9:24 a.m.

welcome to the asylum!!

M0PARker
M0PARker New Reader
12/12/21 8:03 p.m.

Thanks for the comments everyone!  I must admit that I love all the Neon content. 

Three out of four bolts trans mounting bolts line up, and here's where the starter needs to fit.  I ordered one of the smaller ones and should have it this week.  The oil pressure sensor is in the way on the back of the block, so I put a plug in there and plan to move the sensor to an oil port in the back of the head.  I did have all the heat shields on the manifold, and I'm hoping I can still fit those back on.

And here's the one that doesn't line up.  The Rampage front engine mount uses the two trans bolt holes here plus two on the engine, so I will rework that bracket to use the two engine holes I have available and make it wedge up against that ear sticking off the block.

bgkast
bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/12/21 8:08 p.m.

Why not use the PT GT transmission?

M0PARker
M0PARker New Reader
12/12/21 8:19 p.m.
bgkast said:

Why not use the PT GT transmission?

There's a number of things I felt were simplified by keeping the original transmission.  I keep shift rods instead of converting to cables, there are two trans mounts that stay the same, modified front mount, and only the passenger side engine mount needs to be anything special (maybe not even a big deal; will find out when I get there).  Axles, knuckles, brakes, etc. all stay the same this way.  I might regret keeping a 40 year old transmission in the thing, but I can fix that later if I feel I want/need to.

I have the transmission from the scrap blue PT, and I am planning to put it in my silver one at some point for .72 vs .81 5th gear.

1SlowVW
1SlowVW HalfDork
12/12/21 8:33 p.m.

That's a cool rampage, and will be even cooler when it's making boost noises. 

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/12/21 8:41 p.m.

Can confirm boosted Rampage is fun.

 

Mine has shown 17psi boost, very fun

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/12/21 9:00 p.m.
M0PARker said:
bgkast said:

Why not use the PT GT transmission?

There's a number of things I felt were simplified by keeping the original transmission.  I keep shift rods instead of converting to cables, there are two trans mounts that stay the same, modified front mount, and only the passenger side engine mount needs to be anything special (maybe not even a big deal; will find out when I get there).  Axles, knuckles, brakes, etc. all stay the same this way.  I might regret keeping a 40 year old transmission in the thing, but I can fix that later if I feel I want/need to.

I have the transmission from the scrap blue PT, and I am planning to put it in my silver one at some point for .72 vs .81 5th gear.

I see where you're coming from, but I think you're doing extra work for little to no gain.

Having built and sold a lot shift linkage repair/upgrade kits for the later 525 (including adapting one of the rare Hurst shifters for the A460) and dealing with the limitations of the L-body engine bay?

Ditch the A460 and go straight to the matching 5-speed.  Axles are 1990 automatic pieces, shift cables are easily routed under the console.  Shifter mounts to the tunnel.  Done.

Rear transaxle mount is just a strut and the front and side mounts are easily adapted.  I recommend Polybushings.com engine mounts because the stock rubber ones are junk and will fail quickly.

M0PARker
M0PARker New Reader
12/12/21 9:03 p.m.

* cue sad trombone * the Rampage is getting an NA 2.4. I have a vision for one of the old PT supercharger kits on this car, but we'll see, since I do really love turbos. The real end goal though is a fully reliable cruiser (pun intended). 

1SlowVW
1SlowVW HalfDork
12/13/21 6:52 a.m.
M0PARker said:

* cue sad trombone * the Rampage is getting an NA 2.4. I have a vision for one of the old PT supercharger kits on this car, but we'll see, since I do really love turbos. The real end goal though is a fully reliable cruiser (pun intended). 

That's the worst kind of trombone!

 

Seriously though it sounds like we all know it will get some boost sooner or later. Either way it's a cool little trucklet.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/13/21 8:32 a.m.

I enjoyed my old PT for DD duties. It was super utilitarian. I love the idea of making it legit fast.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
12/13/21 1:27 p.m.

Another Neon nerd here. Looking forward to the Rampage content. I've always really liked those. 

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
12/13/21 1:43 p.m.
bonylad said:

 

I approve of this vehicular lunacy and demand to see more!

Quoted, just because we didn't get that model over here in RSA, and looks mean as berkeley from this angle 

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