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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Evening fellow Turbo Dodge enthusiasts! Been a lurker here for a while, finally stumped with a project I have been working on. Recently fell into a 1984 Dodge Rampage, with a Turbo 1 conversion from a Shelby Charger. When I got her, the body is mint, even has nose, hood, and ground effects conversion, but mechanically, it is a basket case. Over 200K miles, everything was worn out. It had sat for several years; the tires, suspension bushings, anything rubber or moved was dry rotted or worn out. Started out meticulously cleaning, pulling k-member out and made sure no oil/grease was left anywhere. Then started replacing EVERYTHING.

Suspension - Replaced these parts -
  • New KYB Struts 234001
  • New strut 'hats'
  • New KYB rear shocks
  • Dorman replacement front control arms
  • Energy Suspension front bushing set
  • New inner and outer tie rods for rack
  • Brakes are good shape
  • Wheel bearings are good
  • Axle shafts/boots are in great shape
  • New tires installed
Everything went together smoothly, nothing was binding during assembly. When I adjusted the camber at the struts, I adjusted for as much negative camber (all the way inward) as I could. I went for a small drive and it did not seem right, in the front end. Drove little over a mile and felt the front tires, they were very warm, and rears were normal driving temp. I could visually see both front tires/wheels had alot of positive camber. I could also see it in the sidewall of the tire, how the positive camber is pushing on the tire. I pulled off the tires and rechecked my camber adjustment, and it was as negative as I could go. I put a indicator on the brake disk, and on drivers side and passenger are between 85-86 degrees. So I have 3-4 degrees of positive camber! Just for shit n giggles I adjusted it in the positive direction and it went to 80-81 degrees!

I do not understand where things went array. I can tell that the half-shafts are already squeezed, and there is little room left around the back side of the coil spring where it rises in the strut tower. There is little room left to move strut assy to gain more negative camber.

I unfortunately tossed the original control arms, as I would have verified measurements. but those are long gone.

What options are there to get the camber right?
Is there a mfg defect with the control arm? How can I verify?

Any advice would be appreciated.
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Land vehicle


Drivers side
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Gas Auto part


Automotive tire Vehicle brake Motor vehicle Bicycle part Bicycle fork


Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Wheel Locking hubs


Passenger side
Automotive tire Measuring instrument Gauge Camera accessory Font


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exhaust Gas Auto part


Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Light
 

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If I understand correctly , you are measuring the camber with the suspension unloaded (control arm hanging-not with wheel on the ground ?
If so that changes everything and also changing camber blasts the toe -in/out .
BTW the ride is beautiful-nice car !
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I understand correctly , you are measuring the camber with the suspension unloaded (control arm hanging-not with wheel on the ground ?
If so that changes everything and also changing camber blasts the toe -in/out .
BTW the ride is beautiful-nice car !

Thanks! The body was only thing good, motor has over 200K on it, it billows blue smoke. Do not know if it is the turbo leaking, or another issue.

I feel like an idiot, I have it figured out, my toe in/out was causing the issue. All good now.

This is how I got her,
Wheel Tire Vehicle Land vehicle Car


Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Automotive exterior


Clutch

Wheel Automotive tire Rim Tread Bicycle part


Caddy - melted - probably form the burning oil

Eye Automotive tire Liquid Automotive wheel system Gas


Little cleaned up

Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design Car


The body is what sold me, never seen a lick of salt. Got a Charger/Shelby rack coming, have a full Shelby interior marked I will have in couple months. Just now searching out long tube T1 intake, and rebuild turbo/intake and add intercooler, etc. It will be fun!
 

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You need to apply pressure inward on the knuckle when the camber bolts are loose. This is because of the spring that is in the CV joint wants to push it outward. Also the weight of the knuckle and rotor also wants to push it outward. If you have the FSM handy, you will notice an illustration showing the knuckle with a large c-clamp bolted in place. This is accomplishing the same thing. That circular cast dot is where they want you to put the c-clamp. You don't need to use one, but it helps if doing this alone. Don't feel bad, many alignment guys fall for the same issue. Whenever I get an alignment done, I always first do what your doing (max out the negative camber). Have the alignment guy take a reading and print it. This would be max negative. You'd be surprised how many alignment guys tell me that negative camber isn't possible because they're doing exactly what happened to you. I then refer them back to original readings (seeing about -2.5° camber). Then they get this peculiar look on their face like the hamster wheel is turning in their head and trying to explain why and how they can't get negative camber. I basically would tell them when they're ready to listen to me about what they're doing wrong, then I'll tell them.
I do all my own alignments now. I basically can't find an alignment guy in our town that is normal. Eccentric, delusional, know it alls, alignment on Chrysler FWD is beneath them, Won't work on something this old, or just plain wack jobs, I believe leads them to this line of work (lol). It's like something is wrong with all of them.
 

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Nice Rampage. We had a kid in my high school that had a beautiful 60 Impala. Pearl white with candy red and orange flames on it. All through high school we would get his attention and say Cliff, your cars on fire (flames). He pretty much fell for it just about every time.
BTW Make sure you have L-body axles installed. To long of axle and you'll never get negative camber either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice Rampage. We had a kid in my high school that had a beautiful 60 Impala. Pearl white with candy red and orange flames on it. All through high school we would get his attention and say Cliff, your cars on fire (flames). He pretty much fell for it just about every time.
BTW Make sure you have L-body axles installed. Too long of axle and you'll never get negative camber either.
😅 there was always someone gullible to pull pranks on! My 2nd car in high school was a '84 Daytona T1, 5 speed. Ran that baby in the ground. I like the dark grey, but ideally I would like it the Shelby blue and grey.

First time I spend good amount of time with a fwd car, and after a couple days of taking measurements realized it was my toe that was causing the issue. Moved toe out, and boom, everything aligned up. It threw me for quite a loop, as I have done my own alignments also. Last year finished my LS conversion in my TJ - TJ - LS, but this year needed a new project, and I love it!

A '86 T1 Charger Shelby was sacrificed for this conversion. A525 w/ 3.56 gears, there is the short drivers shaft, and the passenger is one long shaft. When I had the k-member out I noticed what it looked like a intermediate bearing support bolted to the back of motor, but nothing attached. I assume the L-body's had the unequal length shafts?

Did a compression check - Cyl 1=160, Cyl 2=155, Cyl 3=90, and Cyl 4=155. Got a weak cylinder. There was no coolant in oil, but have not gotten to do a coolant pressure check. It holds temp great, just smokes, alot and a little rough idling on startup. I am sure the injectors need a bit of work, etc. Old guy (Rod) had the car, and another red Rampage auto in his driveway. This girl has sat for 5-6 years, there is still a lot of work to be done. Rod says he has had a total of 13 Rampages, he had a tear in his eye when I drove off.
 

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First time I spend good amount of time with a fwd car, and after a couple days of taking measurements realized it was my toe that was causing the issue. Moved toe out, and boom, everything aligned up. It threw me for quite a loop, as I have done my own alignments also. Last year finished my LS conversion in my TJ - TJ - LS, but this year needed a new project, and I love it!

A '86 T1 Charger Shelby was sacrificed for this conversion. A525 w/ 3.56 gears, there is the short drivers shaft, and the passenger is one long shaft. When I had the k-member out I noticed what it looked like a intermediate bearing support bolted to the back of motor, but nothing attached. I assume the L-body's had the unequal length shafts?

Did a compression check - Cyl 1=160, Cyl 2=155, Cyl 3=90, and Cyl 4=155. Got a weak cylinder. There was no coolant in oil, but have not gotten to do a coolant pressure check. It holds temp great, just smokes, alot and a little rough idling on startup. I am sure the injectors need a bit of work, etc. Old guy (Rod) had the car, and another red Rampage auto in his driveway. This girl has sat for 5-6 years, there is still a lot of work to be done. Rod says he has had a total of 13 Rampages, he had a tear in his eye when I drove off.
Yes whenever the camber changes, you need to reset the toe. As far as the intermediate shaft, originally all turbo cars had equal length shafts. Then a few years later, it was all manual transmission cars that had the equal length half shafts. The original turbo l-body joints were the Citroen design. They were the strongest u-joint available for the l-bodies, so the turbo L body cars all received them.
The turbo L-body hanger bearing and bracket is getting harder and harder to find because they just really didn't make all that many of them. They can go bad too. They are often replaced with a normally aspirated car for a couple reasons. One, trying to find one in good shape is harder to do. Second, is some people think they're a weak spot in the drivetrain. A couple guys break them in high 500 HP cars, then everyone thinks they're fragile in all cars! Then there are others that think less parts, means less to break. It's not the tubular shaft that is breaking. Lastly some people switch to a newer transmission that has a larger output shafts on tranny, requiring the larger diameter axle shaft splines. They don't know how to set up their L-body with equal length larger diameter half shafts.
The truth is they won't break if set up correctly. Certainly not in low HP applications. Failures occurring because the u-joint is seized or partially seized, the aftermarket making weaker hollow u-joints that allow a greaseable zerk fitting to be installed, weakening the joint. What typically breaks on high HP cars is the ears get ripped off the cardian (u-joint). This only happens launching the cars at the strip on slicks, or launching the car on street tires and having bad wheel hop condition.
Just need to diagnose what is going on in that one cylinder, repair it, and you'll have a pretty nicely done turbo Rampage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes whenever the camber changes, you need to reset the toe. As far as the intermediate shaft, originally all turbo cars had equal length shafts. Then a few years later, it was all manual transmission cars that had the equal length half shafts. The original turbo l-body joints were the Citroen design. They were the strongest u-joint available for the l-bodies, so the turbo L body cars all received them.
The turbo L-body hanger bearing and bracket is getting harder and harder to find because they just really didn't make all that many of them. They can go bad too. They are often replaced with a normally aspirated car for a couple reasons. One, trying to find one in good shape is harder to do. Second, is some people think they're a weak spot in the drivetrain. A couple guys break them in high 500 HP cars, then everyone thinks they're fragile in all cars! Then there are others that think less parts, means less to break. It's not the tubular shaft that is breaking. Lastly some people switch to a newer transmission that has a larger output shafts on tranny, requiring the larger diameter axle shaft splines. They don't know how to set up their L-body with equal length larger diameter half shafts.
The truth is they won't break if set up correctly. Certainly not in low HP applications. Failures occurring because the u-joint is seized or partially seized, the aftermarket making weaker hollow u-joints that allow a greaseable zerk fitting to be installed, weakening the joint. What typically breaks on high HP cars is the ears get ripped off the cardian (u-joint). This only happens launching the cars at the strip on slicks, or launching the car on street tires and having bad wheel hop condition.
Just need to diagnose what is going on in that one cylinder, repair it, and you'll have a pretty nicely done turbo Rampage.

Great to know! Thanks! So I just have the support mount, there is nothing else, no bearing, etc. Being I have unequal shafts, I should think about upgrading to the turbo style on the passenger side? Guess I am confused on which l-bodies used the unsupported/unequal shafts? Just the NA 2.2?
 

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Great to know! Thanks! So I just have the support mount, there is nothing else, no bearing, etc. Being I have unequal shafts, I should think about upgrading to the turbo style on the passenger side? Guess I am confused on which l-bodies used the unsupported/unequal shafts? Just the NA 2.2?
Correct all turbo L-bodies came with equal length shafts. There are lots of FWD cars running around successfully using the unequal length shaft on the right side. No need to change this out just for the sake of changing it out. My only personal grudge with the unequal length is the right side axle will actually make contact with the top of the control arm when you jack up the car by the front mount. That just seems wrong to me...
Yes you are correct, the original and aftermarket unequal length L-body axles would be normally aspirated only. If you go searchin for a hanger bearing, it would depend on what transmission is in the car, to determine which one to buy. A525 tranny will take the smaller earlier spline. Here is a picture of the two intermediate shafts with their corresponding hanger mounts.
Handwriting Gas Font Auto part Cylinder
Post-it note Handwriting Font Office supplies Fashion accessory
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Correct all turbo L-bodies came with equal length shafts. There are lots of FWD cars running around successfully using the unequal length shaft on the right side. No need to change this out just for the sake of changing it out. My only personal grudge with the unequal length is the right side axle will actually make contact with the top of the control arm when you jack up the car by the front mount. That just seems wrong to me...
Yes you are correct, the original and aftermarket unequal length L-body axles would be normally aspirated only. If you go searchin for a hanger bearing, it would depend on what transmission is in the car, to determine which one to buy. A525 tranny will take the smaller earlier spline. Here is a picture of the two intermediate shafts with their corresponding hanger mounts.
View attachment 277143 View attachment 277144
Thank you for clearing this up, I do plan on upgrading to a later T1 intake and adding an intercooler, and I will ad this to the list to ensure reliability.
 

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Nice Rampage. We had a kid in my high school that had a beautiful 60 Impala. Pearl white with candy red and orange flames on it. All through high school we would get his attention and say Cliff, your cars on fire (flames). He pretty much fell for it just about every time.
BTW Make sure you have L-body axles installed. To long of axle and you'll never get negative camber either.
Thanks
Randy
 
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