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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I currently own a 1989 Plymouth Horizon. It has the TBI 2.2L and a 5 speed manual transmission. It has about 130,000 miles on it. The engine still runs strong but has a slight fuel issue. It tends to run rich and and sometimes runs rough. It has new plugs, wires, fuel and air filters. The car is not my daily driver but I would like to make a project car out of it. I would like to keep the engine in it but at the same time I want a turbo. I don't think it is possible to to turbocharge the engine thats in it. I was thinking about a TI or TII engine swap out of a donor car if i can find one. The transmission may also prove to be a problem as it is a 5 speed manual vs the automatic turbospec transmission I would need. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated as you guys probably know more about this stuff than I do. I have done some research, but I would love to hear some ideas as well. I will try to post some pics of the car soon.
 

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ok as for the rich issue try running the codes, and let us know, you have to do this. key to run(dont start it.) turn off, turn on, turn off, turn on and leave on. the check engine light will flash. there will be a small pause the a bigger one, the light will flash till it gets to 55. which is end of codes. and as for turbocharging the car there is a few dffernt ways of doing that.
 

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Hi and welcome to TD :) another Omni owner :thumb:

+1 on checking fault codes; for more info go here:, report back yur findings:
Fault Codes - Mini-Mopar Resources

you *can* turbo a NA short block,
BUT deficiencies there will limit your max boost to ~6-8 psi before component failure
(primarily weaker pistons with a higher CR, & low-temp exhaust valves)

6-8 psi would be a significant power increase,
but yu'll want more prolly, then yu'll need a turbo short block

yur 525 trans is a weak link, but until you put sticky tires on it it won't be stressed
even then, a 525 can handle decent power levels IF you don't abuse it.

and you can either stash parts for a trans upgrade swap,
or there are some 525 mods too to strengthen it some

a big reason to swap trans is to eliminate the crap L-body shift linkage,
so in that sense a 523 would be a BIG upgrade, no need for a 555/568 $$

heres more trans info
DDG- The Transmission Guide

IMO I would stay with a 5-spd, even though I like my A413
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info, I will try to get those codes as soon as possible. I have a suspicion that it is the MAP sensor but im not positive. Im happy to hear that I can stick with my 5 speed tranny. Manual is so much more satisfying for me. I will probably try to strengthen the transmission and it definitely needs a new clutch. Also, how many psi boost could I get from a TI or TII 2.2L out of maybe a shadow, lebaron, or something else, and could I mate my transmission to it. I really like what TheCanadian did to his Horizon, and I would like to follow somewhat of the same route.
 

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On a stock TII, the boost is run at 12. There are a lot of people running (or did run) upwards of 20 psi on stock internals.

The "easiest" turbo swap would be to get a turbo motor and use it, and upgrade to suit. Like detobias said, the 525 will be the weak link in your turbo setup. They are not "bad" transmissions, just prone to failure in repeated high abuse situations.

Also, to convert, you may need to pick up a turbo l-body harness. That and a turbo logic module is a given.
 

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On a stock TII, the boost is run at 12. There are a lot of people running (or did run) upwards of 20 psi on stock internals.

The "easiest" turbo swap would be to get a turbo motor and use it, and upgrade to suit. Like detobias said, the 525 will be the weak link in your turbo setup. They are not "bad" transmissions, just prone to failure in repeated high abuse situations.

Also, to convert, you may need to pick up a turbo l-body harness. That and a turbo logic module is a given.
in red is wrong. and here is why lol, the 88-90 have a 50 pin bulk head connector the older glh and glhs have a 40 pin connector, snce he has a 50 pin he can get a 89 turbo mini van harness and swap the wires for the window wipers and it will be the newer intake style, and if you go turbo you will need to put a new fuel pump in as the tbi is way to low pressure, i had a 90 i did the same thing to and i know the mini harness works and the gauges work!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ya, it would be ideal if i could find a turbo caravan from 89 and use its engine also with the stock turbo maybe, but i don't know how common those vans are, and if they would have any in the local junkyards, but i guess i won't know till i look. Is the minivan harness the only option, or are there other options? I have heard of Megasquirt, but I don't know if that completely pertains to what im trying to accomplish. Also, would it be possible to upgrade pistons, exhaust valves, etc to accommodate for higher boost on my current engine, or would it be more beneficial to swap out with a turbo motor. If I do find a decent one i will probably have to clean it up, or possibly even rebuilt it, depending on the shape it's in. Sorry for all the questions, but i am fairly new to this stuff......
 

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well i am gonna throw a few options out for wirring but others will come along and have better lol but theres daytona harness convertion, but that involves wire cutting lol the mini is a almost plug and play! and for the motor if you use a 2.5 it will run good in the omni lol
 

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Run the mini harness and a 2.5 liter and you wont be disappointed. A little splicing on a couple wires and you are good to go. The 525 will hold aslong as you dont overly abuse and with a chrome moly plate and if you so choose an mp girdle that thing would be well upto the task. I definitely suggest a t2/t3 clutch combo as that will hold power over a stock t2 clutch and work quite nicely with your set up.
You will have to upgrade the pump as has been said and I would suggest putting in a walboro 255 so you wont have any problems if you choose to go bigger turbo and bigger boost later.
A turbo omni with a good clutch set up, intercooler, 2.5'' or 3inch exhaust and 2.5l with a garret is easily a 13 second car. the little mitsu that comes on the 2.5 will be great for spooling but will hinder top end performance.
Just some food for thought. Goodluck on your project. Turbo omnis are a blast!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the advice so far! So the 2.5L is generally found in the 89 turbo minivan? It would be great if I could find one of those engines nearby for cheap, I will have to start looking. I would probably stick with the mitsu turbo until I could afford a garrett. As far as the t2/t3 clutch combo, I am a little confused on that whole setup. It probably will also need a new clutch cable because the old one is stretched im sure. Having a 13 second car, if I could achieve that, would be awesome. I hope to be able to finish it in time for the local drag race this summer, but I want to do it right so I won't rush. I still want the car to be a fun everyday driver though, while at the same time embarrassing poser cars. haha :D

As far as turbos though, my dad actually is a manager at a turbo shop, but they deal with much larger turbos for massive diesel engines etc. Im pretty sure he deals some with Garrett though, and maybe, if im extra lucky, i could get some sort of hookup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So here are some pictures of the car finally.......

As you can see the body is in decent shape, the only rust i know of is on the inside bottoms of the doors. The interior is in decent shape too. After the mechanics are done i hope to get GLH style skirts for it, if anyone knows where to find a body kit please let me know, i'd really appreciate it.....

And of course ill repaint it, probably dark blue, i wanted to go black or silver but with the interior being light blue, it wouldn't look right to me.
 

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The t2/t3 clutch is a t2 disc with a t3 pressure plate. You can find the set up at FWD performance. Looks like a very decent car to start with forsure. Pretty clean. Glad you have no floor rust. Thats the big problem with L-bodies is that then the floors rust sooooo easily its hard to find one without rust these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, now the transmission situation makes a little more sense. I've visited FWD performance already and they seem to have a large inventory of parts. As far as floor rust though, to tell you the truth, i haven't really checked that out. I don't plan on pulling the carpet but maybe I can see from underneath? I have seen where these cars are bad about floor rust and where people have had to use patch panels. Hope thats not the case for me.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It is a good car, and the best part is that we picked it up for $400. Hopefully this weekend i can maybe get to the junkyard to start the search for either a 2.5l or 2.2l turbo and the harness and computer parts. As far as I know the minivan harness would be the easiest but I may have to improvise. My budget is between $1000 and $1500. Do you guys think that thats possible while still getting substantial power because I would like to take it to the strip....
 

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lol cute little Ho'

looks like a great base to start a build.

yes, Canadian007 did a nice job with his NA car.

lmk if you need any small parts, I have quite a few omni bits...
 

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Nice find. I picked up an '89 Horizon myself in December identical to yours except mine is automatic. I'm just gonna restore it and drive it back and forth to work. I already got a '86 GLHS that goes fast.
Here a pic of mine.
Not like anyone would be excited over another base L-body pic :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ya thats a nice looking Horizon, looks like it has better paint than mine does anyway, but that will be covered up soon :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well.... some bad news, the drivers side fender was just backed into today and is torn up pretty good, along with part of the grille around the parking lamp, i suppose it wont be too hard to find those parts though, and the car is eventually getting repainted anyway i hope.....
 
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