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post #1 of 22 Old 09-29-2016, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Head gasket job and turbo rebuild on 1990 spirit es

Hello td how is your day going? I am about to do a head gasket job on my spirit Es turbo because when hooking up a new intercooler I noticed my turbo has some shaft play. First of all I was wondering how much is to much? And are the things I've heard through the grape vine true? Such as alittle shaft play is ok? It does not move forward or backward. Just a tiny bit from side to side. And I mean a really tiny bit almost non existant. Does this mean it needs a rebuild right this second? And when a turbo starts to develop shaft play about how long does it have left? I'm gonna rebuild it rather way probly . I guess I'm asking is from a scale of one to ten how urgent or quickly do I need to do it? Like I said it's very minimal play maybe within a few thousandths of an inch? I don't know. Also while I have my head off what can I do to add power? Should I polish the combustion chambers? I've herd yes and no to this. But it seems to me that a polished combustion chamber would help to eliminate knock? Also what about porting? I thaught maybe gasket match and maybe alittle exhaust runner work but I'm just not sure if it would benifit the car. I'm not building a race car or anything but I would like it to be fast! I kinda always hoped for 250 to possibly 300 hp at this point I'd be happy to break 200hp. I haven't driven it with the intercooler because I noticed the turbo do u guys think I'm over reacting about the shaft play? And it'll be ok for a while long? Thank you guys for any guideness!
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-29-2016, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry I ment guidince.
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-29-2016, 12:13 PM
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Re: Head gasket job and turbo rebuild on 1990 spirit es

Quote:
Originally Posted by G body guy View Post
Hello td how is your day going? I am about to do a head gasket job on my spirit Es turbo because when hooking up a new intercooler I noticed my turbo has some shaft play. First of all I was wondering how much is to much?

if it doesnt smoke. and doesnt make contact with the housing.. should be okay for now.
no more than 1-2 mm lateral. and no more than 1 horizontal.




And are the things I've heard through the grape vine true? Such as alittle shaft play is ok? It does not move forward or backward. Just a tiny bit from side to side. And I mean a really tiny bit almost non existant. Does this mean it needs a rebuild right this second?

does it smoke? does it make contact?



And when a turbo starts to develop shaft play about how long does it have left?

bought fhree fifty.


I'm gonna rebuild it rather way probly . I guess I'm asking is from a scale of one to ten how urgent or quickly do I need to do it?


bought fhree fitty.


Like I said it's very minimal play maybe within a few thousandths of an inch? I don't know. Also while I have my head off what can I do to add power?

shave it. port it. camshaft? 2.4 lifters.
bigger turbo. bigger swing valve. new down pipe. 180 thermostat
wrap exhaust. heat sheild on intake. limitless possiblities.




Should I polish the combustion chambers?

no.. but i would have a machine shop hot tank it and check it over.
i only say no because if you arent sure if your turbo is okay or not.. i wouldnt suggest you take a grinder to the cylinder head. :-)


I've herd yes and no to this. But it seems to me that a polished combustion chamber would help to eliminate knock? Also what about porting? I thaught maybe gasket match and maybe alittle exhaust runner work but I'm just not sure if it would benifit the car.


sure. i wouldnt gasket match the lower area of the head and intake runner...



I'm not building a race car or anything but I would like it to be fast! I kinda always hoped for 250 to possibly 300 hp at this point I'd be happy to break 200hp. I haven't driven it with the intercooler because I noticed the turbo do u guys think I'm over reacting about the shaft play? And it'll be ok for a while long? Thank you guys for any guideness!

good luck man.
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-29-2016, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you I'll need it. I kinda can't wait to see the condition of my engine. But at the same time every time I pull a motor apart I always have this worry that it won't go back together. Haha I'm gonna make sure I have every thing for the job before taking it apart . I made the mistake of taking my Daytona apart with out any of the parts to put it back together thinking it would save time. The dam thing still sits on jacks in my drive way haha. It's a non turbo so my spirit took over all my attention at the moment. I'm hopen it'll turn out good.
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-29-2016, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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No smoke at all. It seems to boost good no contact with the housing. Maybe I'll give it a bit till I do the job. I always get alittle Leary when I got to do a big engine job. Thank you for your help!
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-29-2016, 07:30 PM
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Re: Head gasket job and turbo rebuild on 1990 spirit es

I cannot answer your turbo shaft play questions but if you need info, have questions or need guidance removing/installing the head let me know.
I just did my head gasket so it is still fresh in my mind.
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-29-2016, 08:28 PM
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Re: Head gasket job and turbo rebuild on 1990 spirit es

Here is what I have to offer, these are my comments based on my real world and hands on experience with these cars over 30 years. No, it's not gospel, it's just what I have observed and personally experienced, many others may have a different view point or opinion, your mileage may vary.

As far as your questions about shaft play on your turbo, if it has so very little side to side movement, and there is no evidence of the compressor/cold wheel touching the housing, it's probably just fine and could last a long time especially if you keep your oil changed, the oil and water lines remain in good condition and you don't run it hard and then shut it off almost immediately. The life of your turbo for the most part is a matter of keeping clean oil in the engine and giving the turbo a chance to cool down at least a little after some spirited driving and before you shut it off. One of the best things you can do is to add an in-line oil filter to the turbo oil line and that will require you to get a stainless steel braided replacement line, I like the larger diameter ones available from Chris at turbos unleashed.

As far as making more power, you sure have a lot of options when it comes to modifications. I have built several turbo Dodge engines in the past. I mean I have spent tens of thousands of dollars building them and several of them had everything you could get, forged this, ported that, bigger other, you name it. And it was a lot of fun and effort to get those engines well tuned so that all that expensive stuff actually gave me more horsepower. These days, I put modifications into two general categories, those that make the engine stronger and more durable, and those that will help make more power IF the tune is also upgraded.

So here is my general advice, if you are not going to accept on the front end that if you go with a ported head, ported intake and exhaust, and maybe a bigger turbo and then injectors and an adjustable fuel pressure regulator and bigger exhaust or any combination of the above, you are going to NEED to get a custom calibration to bring it all back together and make the power you were hoping to obtain, then forget it and save thousands in busted parts and time. If you change ANYTHING in the intake or exhaust or head that results in a measurable increase in air flow, your calibration will need to be changed to make the most of it. And if you don't then you are going to have some type of high-boost air/Fuel (A/F) issue that will need to be corrected or you will toast the engine eventually and that is just a given. You can spend quickly and easily $2K-$3K or $4K on all the stuff I mentioned and more and w/o the proper tuning (and a clutch/tranny combo that can handle it) it won't be any faster or will be slower and less reliable than if you just left it all entirely stock except for a heavier duty clutch and just went with a stage 5 ECU, +40 injectors, a 2.5" exhaust, and an adjustable fuel pressure regulator, all capped off with a wide band controller so you can get it dialed in.

The factory equipment, as is, is more than capable of making 200+ HP with a stage 5 calibration, probably even a stage 3, and those setups have already been dialed in and the components all work together to deliver a smooth idle, great daily driveability, good fuel economy and reliability. It's stock appearing for the most part, the pieces are widely available and not exotic and can easily be worked on. ARP fasteners are a luxury, if you are not running 20+ PSI, ARP head studs or bolts are a waste of cash...but a nice to have. They fall in the category of nice to have makes the engine stronger. I personally think it's better to just have new quality head bolts and a good quality head gasket and a flat deck and head to put it on. ARP rod bolts are a nice to have, makes them stronger but frankly the factory bolts are designed to take more abuse than the engine will deliver with the factory parts and up to 15-20 psi. Same goes for the main bearing bolts, they are fine till and maybe even if you are running 20+psi, they are a nice to have but not absolutely necessary. Our engines just don't commonly suffer from rod or main bearing bolt failures. They are prone to blowing head gaskets if the bolts are cheap, or the head gaskets cheap and/or old or the engine is run hot a few times.

If I just wanted a bad arse street machine I would save at least $2000 and just go with a stage 5 ECU, a 2.5" exhaust, an AFPR, and +40s and skip the $1500 ported head, the couple hundred on the ported intake and exhaust manifolds, the larger throttle body, the fresh air or K&N cone filter, the obnoxious BOV, S3 cam, adjustable cam gear, the POS MSD ignition that wan't designed for our ignitions anyway, and all the ARP fasteners except maybe the head studs because if the head does come off it saves me about $40 not having to replace the head bolts every time. I don't believe in reusing the factory head bolts, or the FelPros and I don't give a dang who tells me that they have reused theirs numerous times w/o a problem.

A stage 5 setup, with all factory hardware, add the Bee-hive spring update, PT lifter update, ARP head studs, and if I decided I wanted it to take a regular beating I would add only forged pistons from either Wiseco or Venolia and crown it with meth injection, a progressive meth system if I wanted to add a few hundred to the build. Believe me, that is more than enough for the daily driven street machine and would also make for an awesome every other weekend strip ride that you could drive to and home from the track.

If I wanted to build an engine and tranny that I was going to race regularly and hard, I'd go for all that other stuff, ported everything, a bigger turbo and large FMIC, 3" exhaust, and all the other stuff needed for the stage 5 cal, ARP fasteners everywhere, forged pistons and crank (even though it is like 12+ lbs heavier) and the strongest tranny like an A555 or A568 with a Quaife LSD, and a wide band and learn how to burn my on calibrations so that I could give it a genuine good tune.

I could have literally bought at least two other daily drivers with all the cash I spent on all the go fast goodies for my street machine and would have probably been happier and saved a lot of time (and ca$h) had I just gone mostly stock with a stage 5 calibration and the few select pieces needed to go with it.

Just my thoughts, others may differ, your mileage may vary.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-29-2016, 08:42 PM
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Re: Head gasket job and turbo rebuild on 1990 spirit es

I recently did a lot of research on shaft play since I was selling a turbo and didn't want to screw over the buyer. It seems most turbo manufacturers spec side play on brand new turbos to be in the 0.010 to 0.022 area using a dial indicator. So I'd imagine a used turbo could probably double that without making contact with the housing, as I have an old Garrett sitting here that has 0.039 and still doesn't make contact.

If you pull all your intake hoses, you should be able to get to the inlet of the turbo and check side play with a dial indicator.

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post #9 of 22 Old 09-30-2016, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Wow lots of info ther!!! Thank you very much I'll have to ponder all this for a sec. I was planing on staying mainly stock as well as far as engine internals that is. So mayb a stage 3 cal so I can keep my stock fuel system and an intercooler so I can raise boost to 13 or 14 lbs. and keep it ther for a while. U think that's a nice solid set up? 1. A stage 3 cal. 2.intercooler 3. Raise boost to 14 lbs what kind of hp numbers do you think that set up would be? And later when I get bored with that I'll start on bigger injectors fuel pump a/f gauge and more boost.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-30-2016, 05:12 PM
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Re: Head gasket job and turbo rebuild on 1990 spirit es

Quote:
Originally Posted by G body guy View Post
Wow lots of info ther!!! Thank you very much I'll have to ponder all this for a sec. I was planing on staying mainly stock as well as far as engine internals that is. So mayb a stage 3 cal so I can keep my stock fuel system and an intercooler so I can raise boost to 13 or 14 lbs. and keep it there for a while. U think that's a nice solid set up? 1. A stage 3 cal. 2.intercooler 3. Raise boost to 14 lbs what kind of hp numbers do you think that set up would be? And later when I get bored with that I'll start on bigger injectors fuel pump a/f gauge and more boost.
I think you'll be just fine with a stage 3 setup and otherwise an all stock setup. Adding an intercooler would be OK since the ECU can compensate for almost 20% of a variance in A/F balance except at WOT at which time the O2 sensor is ignored. It is at this point that having an A/F gauge would tell you if you are rich or lean or just right. Beyond that, then a custom cal would be needed since the ECU stage 3 for a car built w/o an intercooler wont be setup (calibrated) for an engine with an intercooler. The solution is to obtain an ECU calibrated for a T2 intercooled car.
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post #11 of 22 Old 10-01-2016, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so adding an ic to a t1 with the stage 3 should do fine?. That's what I was thinkn. But I would like to find a t2 computer that'll b somthing I'll b lookn for. I'd like to rebuild my turbo as well. Or maybe even find a gerrat turbo but I've never done a turbo swap before so I guess we'll see how it goes. Thank u for ur help. I'll try to put some pics up hear. O also I got a t2 intercooler but I don't have the t2 radiator. I was able to mount the intercooler rite up to my radiator like we're the fan would go. My question is do u think that will b ok ther? I know the point of an intercooler is to cool the air. So do u think it will work out that close to the radiator core? The intercooler core is about half an inch to three quarters of an inch away from the rad core. Will the radiator heat cause the intercooler to be to hot? The car doesn't run hot but I don't know if anyone has done it like this or not. I figure it's gotta b cooler then the turbo blowing hot air directly into the intake?
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post #12 of 22 Old 10-01-2016, 09:11 AM
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Re: Head gasket job and turbo rebuild on 1990 spirit es

Biggest issue with a T2 computer is that all T2 engines were 2.2, not 2.5. I have no experience on the matter, but I'm assuming a 2.2 calibration will run a touch lean on a 2.5. You may be able to overcome this easily by bumping the fuel pressure a bit, but it's something you'll want to investigate.
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post #13 of 22 Old 10-01-2016, 09:17 AM
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Re: Head gasket job and turbo rebuild on 1990 spirit es

Came across this on The Dodge Garage. Gary's site has so much information, lol

"Ahh the one special case! Mopar Performance sells a 42 pph injector- It flows exactly 20% more then a stock 33 pph injector used in the 2.5 engine. Now from what I understand the 2.5 is 11% larger in displacement then a 2.2 BUT it's fuel curve is 17% larger... so what does all this mean? If you install a Turbo II 2.2 computer on a 2.5 engine the calibration will be 17% lean... unless you install a the 20% larger 42 pph injectors at the same time! This is the setup I ran on my K-car and it works pretty well and the extra 3% of fuel will get you up to 16-17 psi. Some cars seem to need a little tweaking with the fuel pressure and others have no problem at all. "

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post #14 of 22 Old 10-01-2016, 11:10 AM
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Re: Head gasket job and turbo rebuild on 1990 spirit es

Quote:
Originally Posted by G body guy View Post
But I would like to find a t2 computer that'll b somthing I'll b lookn for.
That would be a waste of time and money, better way would be finding another 88 - 89 TI turbo SMEC and just socket it. Then you can put in whatever calibration you want on it. Or just use your current 2.5L TI SEMC as is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G body guy View Post
I noticed my turbo has some shaft play. First of all I was wondering how much is to much?
All oil journal bearing turbo have side to side shaft play. If there is no shaft play, oil can't get between the bearing and shaft. Any contact between the wheel and housing? Shaft spins freely? Any noticeable oil leak on either end? If no to all, turbo is fine and install it. It would be a waste of money and time to rebuild a working turbo, there is no benefit.

Now, any noticeable in and out shaft play would be bad, it means your CBV/BOV isn't working and causing surge or the exhaust is plugged up. Find and fix the cause, then put on a new or rebuild the turbo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EaZyE426 View Post
Came across this on The Dodge Garage. Gary's site has so much information, lol

"Ahh the one special case! Mopar Performance sells a 42 pph injector- It flows exactly 20% more then a stock 33 pph injector used in the 2.5 engine. Now from what I understand the 2.5 is 11% larger in displacement then a 2.2 BUT it's fuel curve is 17% larger... so what does all this mean? If you install a Turbo II 2.2 computer on a 2.5 engine the calibration will be 17% lean... unless you install a the 20% larger 42 pph injectors at the same time! This is the setup I ran on my K-car and it works pretty well and the extra 3% of fuel will get you up to 16-17 psi. Some cars seem to need a little tweaking with the fuel pressure and others have no problem at all. "
Gary's way was great when free tuning software for 2.2 / 2.5 was not available. Gary's way is obsolete now. To be frank, very few people have the knowledge, patience, and know-how to follow Gary's way. For example, I knew someone who got a hugh fuel leak on a drive-thru due to his poor attempt of adding a 5th injector. He almost burn down a burger place!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EaZyE426 View Post
Biggest issue with a T2 computer is that all T2 engines were 2.2, not 2.5. I have no experience on the matter, but I'm assuming a 2.2 calibration will run a touch lean on a 2.5. You may be able to overcome this easily by bumping the fuel pressure a bit, but it's something you'll want to investigate.
No, just no. If you have a 2.5L, use the 2.5L computer.

I'm willing to bet the only thing that is significantly different regarding to the TII to a TI calibration is boost schedules. There are eight boost schedules in SMEC. The computer boost schedules is useless as soon as you put in a manual boost controller or any other form of boost control.

2.5L requires different fuel / ignition timings and other than than 2.2L. Don't mix and match ECU! 2.5L TI calibration will work perfectly fine on an intercooled car.

Download the free MPtuner and calibration files and compare and contrast them between 2.2L and 2.5L!! It's free!

http://www.turbo-mopar.com/forums/sh...?45009-MPTuner
http://www.turbo-mopar.com/forums/fo...ost&order=desc

Quote:
Originally Posted by G body guy View Post
O also I got a t2 intercooler but I don't have the t2 radiator. I was able to mount the intercooler rite up to my radiator like we're the fan would go. My question is do u think that will b ok ther? I know the point of an intercooler is to cool the air. So do u think it will work out that close to the radiator core? The intercooler core is about half an inch to three quarters of an inch away from the rad core. Will the radiator heat cause the intercooler to be to hot? The car doesn't run hot but I don't know if anyone has done it like this or not. I figure it's gotta b cooler then the turbo blowing hot air directly into the intake?
What do I think? Mount it somewhere else. Air coming from the radiator will be 185-210F, do you really want all that hot air to head soak your intercooler? Your intercooler will be an interwarmer in no time at all. In fact, I bet if you put your left over meal on it, it would warm it up just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILIKESHELBYS View Post
I think you'll be just fine with a stage 3 setup and otherwise an all stock setup. Adding an intercooler would be OK since the ECU can compensate for almost 20% of a variance in A/F balance except at WOT at which time the O2 sensor is ignored. It is at this point that having an A/F gauge would tell you if you are rich or lean or just right. Beyond that, then a custom cal would be needed since the ECU stage 3 for a car built w/o an intercooler wont be setup (calibrated) for an engine with an intercooler. The solution is to obtain an ECU calibrated for a T2 intercooled car.
I'm going to have strongly disagree with you regarding using 2.2L TII ECU on a 2.5L car, stated for the reasons above.

Also, ECU maybe able to compensate, but only for a very narrow a/f range. The stock o2 sensor can only tell if the engine is leaning or richer than 14.7. THAT IS IT. It's good for idling and steady speed, bad for everything else. This is why wideband gauge is important when it comes to tuning!!! Wideband can sense a wide range of a/f ratio, something like 10 a/f to 18 a/f or even wider.

Without a wideband gauge, it's a guessing game. Sure, one can read plugs, and use other old school tricks, but wouldn't you want to know what your a/f ratio is instantly, not after the fact?

When I open a calibration and look at it, there isn't a box that says "intercooler". Please, I encourage anyone and everyone to download MPtuner and look at the tables inside calibration files. Takes all 10-20 minutes and it will give you a better idea how the calibration works.
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post #15 of 22 Old 10-02-2016, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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I agree . For the moment I'll just be adding the intercooler. And a g-valve to get it up to 13 maybe 14 lbs and a wide band cause I'll need it in the long run anyway why not get it now. As for the ecu I feel I'd rather be safe then sorry and get the stage 3? Or wait all together till I can get the fuel pump and injectors needed for the stage 5. That would be correct right? Cause my stock fuel pump and injectors will b fine for the stage 3 yes? And I do agree the intercooler location is not ideal. I'll have to do some cutting and re locate the piping to move it. Or I could try shifting the rad over and puting it on the side. It is spaced about 21/2 to 3 inches away from the core but it's still to close to both the engine and the rad. I thaught I had a good spot for it since it fit well. But ther is the issue of heat soaking it. I'll figure something out. I thank u for all ur advise!!!! It deffenitly opens the eyes to what doing somthing like this right really Intails. I can't help but wonder how many cars are out there that are done wrong . Like the guy with the fifth injector fire. It's definitely not for the faint of heart! Haha but I guess that's why we love it in the first place. O and no it doesn't smoke and no touching the housing and no oil leaking. It is a mits turbo witch will be replaced eventually but I gotta say I've herd nothing but bad things about this little turbo and from what I've seen I think it's a capable little guy! I think it's worth exploring some tuning and playing with just to see what it is really capable of. It pulls hard and fast. It may runout of steam earlier but I can't help but think some porting or tweaking may help that. Not sure. I'm glad to have experienced it though.
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