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minivan_racer UberDork
6/25/18 1:29 p.m.

This is going to be the thread I use for all future project logs and goings on.  It probably won't be updated as often as my social media stuff, but I'll try and keep it up to date.

First my other threads to get you to where I will begin here.





After I bought the house last May/June, I fell of the face of the Earth.  Between a 50+ hour a week job that was starting to demand more hours for equal or less money, and a house that I had to rip apart right after I bought it, I was busy.  This is what the house looked like when I got the keys.

I thought I had more pictures of that.  I gutted the carpet the first day we owned it.

The original owners had horrible paint decisions.

At some point Robin's egg blue and sunshine yellow were painted over with brown and more brown.

Successful trip to restore/all of our belongings in the garage because the house was a disaster.

Before the end of Summer I had successfully gotten the living room and the one of the smaller bedrooms done so we had someplace to call home.

The main reason for that was my wife going into her final semester of nursing school, and needing to devote time to that instead of the house.

Unfortunately, I received some bad news shortly thereafter.  The garage all my stuff was in had been broken into and cleaned out.  I'm lucky I got the cars out of there before they disappeared entirely.

For those that don't know, it looked like this before.


Needless to say, losing all my parts and tools put me in a funk towards car stuff for a few months.



Rufledt UberDork
6/25/18 4:44 p.m.

Thieves SUCK.  Turbo dodge minivans rock.  Looking forward to progress

EastCoastMojo GRM+ Memberand Mod Squad
6/25/18 5:56 p.m.

Subscribed for the turbo van awesomeness that is to come!

minivan_racer UberDork
6/25/18 8:15 p.m.

The last post left off at September of 2017, nothing interesting (at least for the sake of this discussion) happened again until November.

Went to Toledo and bought this 89 Daytona ES, originally a 2.5 non intercooled auto car with 4 wheel discs.  I decided since a lot of what I needed to fix the 87 Daytona was stolen, there was no reason to keep the shell.  The car had previous accident damage that would require frame work and the entire drivers footwell had rotten out and was repaired poorly.  The original plan was to swap any good parts over to this car, but I realized it had already started to be prepped for paint.  It's on the back burner for now.

My wife graduated in December, and took her nursing boards in February.  At the end of February I changed jobs, I was tired of being tired and unhappy and the loss of income and added stress was making life tough to bear.  I spent the extra time finishing the bedrooms so I could actually set up my office and sleep in my master bedroom. I also made what was probably a bad but necessary financial decision and cashed out part of my 401k so I could replace tools.  All I was left with was a small assortment of sockets and wrenches and anytime I tried to work on something I ended up having to buy tools to do the job, so it was a necessary evil.

Yeah people who smoke in their house suck, everything had a yellow dinginess to it. I finished the house in May, but in the meanwhile I had been replacing tools so I could get back to car things. I went and looked at some other projects, but the late winter, and a move back to full time hours at the new job kept me from picking them up until recently.

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/26/18 9:51 a.m.

working on stuff has great therapeutic benefits, even when it's not what you really *want* to be working on, ie house vs garage.

minivan_racer UberDork
6/26/18 10:32 a.m.

Fast forward another month to 2 weeks ago.

First, the silver 89 van isn't abandoned, but is on the very back burner because of the new projects.  The 87 was stripped of anything I could use and disposed of.

I though it apropos that the last time I saw it, it was crushing a honda.

The worst thing that could've happened for the health of my marriage is a friend letting me have usage of his trailer whenever I need it if it isn't already being used. It also doesn't help that the same friend gave me a turbo dodge that runs but doesn't drive. But first, the biggest news.

The top one is a Red/red '90 voyager with the 3rd row, stock mainly.  The black one is an '89 caravan.  The red one was parked with a "bad fuel pump" (I haven't confirmed that is the actual issue), and was parked in the woods where it became a mouse/squirrel house.  Hopefully the wiring is good and I don't end up with surprises.  The black one ran once I threw a battery on it and I drove it to its current resting spot.

If anybody wants to get into the turbo dodge game let me know, the Daytona roller is for sale and the sundance (the free car) might also be after I do some swapping around.

The annual turbo dodge club meeting was this past weekend (June 23-27, 2018) and I wanted to last minute roadkill the black van 2 hours to Cincinnati for the car show Sunday.  The black van ran rough.  It looked like the cam timing was off and someone swapped an early 2.2 engine into it in place of the 2.5 that should be there, so it's possible that it is running rich at startup because of the computer.  I went into last Thursday expecting to get it re timed and then tackling the calibration.  Thursday the timing belt ripped while I was trying to remove it, then I realized the engine still had the off the wall external torx head bolts on the crank pulley so I couldn't remove it (so I thought, I later found the socket I needed on the shelf in the garage AFTER I bought a new one).  Friday, I got the socket but two of the heads rounded off.  Saturday morning (first day of "vacation") I get a dremel and cut the heads off and finally get the new belt on.  I bumped the distributor twice before it fired right up.  I turned it off to fix a vacuum leak and hook up a timing light and would not refire.  After replacing everything in the ignition system except for the wiring and the computer, I left it like this in the driveway.

The main purpose of trying to roadkill it was the possibility of the SDAC 28 car show having the biggest group of turbo vans ever assembled at an event and possibly the most turbo vans in one place outside of a dodge dealer in 1989.  Me and one or two others didn't make it, but we still had quite the turnout with 8.33 turbo vans in attendance.

The reason there was 8.33 vans

It's always a great time, and any group of enthusiasts this quirky has to stick together.

(pic "borrowed" from FB)

The go kart is in the back of one of the vans also.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
6/26/18 10:39 a.m.

Bunch of weirdos, the lot of you. Turbo vans........

Carry on though because y'all are awesome. 

dropstep SuperDork
6/26/18 11:38 a.m.

I'm amazed Austin didn't try to take one of his turbo vans. That Sundance even looks alot like his old one. Turbo dodge guys seem to never be able too stop at 1.

minivan_racer UberDork
6/26/18 5:11 p.m.

In reply to dropstep :

It is his old one lol.  I just bought a 5 speed van k frame from him and he gave me the new rockers for the Sundance on Sunday.

Agent98 Reader
6/27/18 9:11 a.m.

OK I NEVER thought it would happen, but now I'm beginning to regret trading  in my 2005 Caravan....

(2.4 liter ,auto, 76,000 miles, new long block (after the original ate up the thrust bearing and pushed out the front crank seal)

How easy/hard would that have been to turbocharge?

Off topic: I wonder if you can claim as a deduction those theft losses from your taxes - probably need/needed to file a police report

minus whatever insurance money you got/are getting...



minivan_racer UberDork
6/27/18 10:27 a.m.

In reply to Agent98 :

Unfortunately I wasn't smart enough to put a renter's policy on that stuff.  I looked into the deductions but decided that I'd be better off chalking it up as a lesson learned than possibly messing up my taxes.

Rufledt UberDork
6/27/18 11:05 a.m.

That still sucks, but at least you still have your health?  Looks to me like you are starting a ranch for all of your turbo dodges. I like it

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/27/18 11:27 a.m.

In reply to Agent98 :

I can relate. I am getting bad ideas involving my wife's 02 T&C...with the rare AWD option...

Just read through silver van's build thread. Let me know if you ever need a hand getting that one in progress again. I had no idea how awesome that van is. Those AWD components look awfully similar to what's under my wife's T&C, right down to the PTU and overrunning clutch.

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/27/18 4:17 p.m.

Im big into the 94-95 3.3 vans

I still believe Im the only 3.3 owner (car or van) to have a 3000stall torque converter 

I love every bit of this.

minivan_racer UberDork
6/27/18 7:45 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

In reply to Agent98 :

I can relate. I am getting bad ideas involving my wife's 02 T&C...with the rare AWD option...

Just read through silver van's build thread. Let me know if you ever need a hand getting that one in progress again. I had no idea how awesome that van is. Those AWD components look awfully similar to what's under my wife's T&C, right down to the PTU and overrunning clutch.

It should look familiar, the PTU is out of a 93 but it's identical to the '01 that I had in the old garage, the rear diff is out of an '01.  The rear discs are the '01 rear discs and hubs bolted to the '93 axle beam.

I considered finding a newer 2.4 van and a similar year PT cruiser and using the drivetrain and ECU out of the PT to turbo the new van. The major hold up for progress is the fact that the engine harness, radiator, and all my AN fuel line/fittings were in boxes in the old garage.  I had been wavering on whether or not to go MS3 on the engine and my choice has been made for me it seems.  I still need to find an engine harness to have the lights, etc. working.

minivan_racer UberDork
6/27/18 7:47 p.m.

A post shared by George M (@minivanracer) on

Hopefully that picture works.  Started in on the red van today, did a couple of tests to confirm the fuel pump was bad.  Bypassed the ASD relay and heard the pump run, and the van started.  Shut it off to plug the relay in, won't restart.  frown Here we go again.  Ended up being a weak pump, as I didn't have strong pressure.  The 87 Daytona had a 255 Walbro in it that I kept, so I swapped it with the 190 Walbro in the black van and IT RUNS!  Of course it leaked fuel out of the feed line so I had to drop the tank again, and after that it leaked from the filler neck grommet.  It had half a tank of fuel in it and a good gallon is now in my driveway after trying to pull the filler neck and drain the tank.  I'll get a new grommet after work tomorrow and it should be good to move onto other things.

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/27/18 9:45 p.m.

on my first 94...had the pump go out...just after a fill up...was not fun

minivan_racer UberDork
6/28/18 8:32 p.m.

A post shared by George M (@minivanracer) on


Can someone confirm that embedding IG posts this way works?

EastCoastMojo GRM+ Memberand Mod Squad
6/28/18 8:36 p.m.

In reply to minivan_racer :

I can see a video of a  red turbo van starting up.

minivan_racer UberDork
6/28/18 8:46 p.m.

In reply to EastCoastMojo :


Vigo UltimaDork
6/28/18 11:46 p.m.

Well, this is what i get for falling off the TM forums (mostly). Looks like a good time at SDAC. 

Ranger50 UltimaDork
6/29/18 7:36 a.m.

In reply to Agent98 :

2.4's can be ran "as-is" for turbos but a swap to SRT rods and pistons is just a few dollars away from "all the boost". The Caliber manifold is a POS with the integrated exhaust housing and the Mexican market Sebring manifold is hard to get, but you can make one or modify Neon parts, IIRC.

When I did my EFI University dyno class, we had a Haltech, E85, 62mm turbo'd 2.4 Neon to tune... it made 500whp all said and done with a 7500rpm redline.....

minivan_racer UberDork
6/30/18 7:23 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

I've hardly been on the forums for over a year.  I've been using FB groups more.

minivan_racer UberDork
7/21/18 8:36 p.m.

Small update that's useless without pics.  I cleaned the red van out and the interior is super nice looking save a few small things. While waiting for payday to register it, I put a new set of plugs in and did an oil change since it sat for 2-3 years.  I took it down the street to the gas station and back so far, but don't want to push my luck driving it without a plate.

Cooter Dork
7/22/18 3:49 a.m.



This forum (and the world) needs moar Turbo Dodges. 

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