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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Toying with the idea of swapping a turbo motor into my Turismo instead of selling it and finding a turbo car as it's just so solid. I've been out of the TD game for a long time now but want back in!

So aside from the complete engine, cooling/intercooling, exhaust (the basics)... what do I need to source?

Which harness should I look for? Charger turbo or can I use others?
 

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Toying with the idea of swapping a turbo motor into my Turismo instead of selling it and finding a turbo car as it's just so solid. I've been out of the TD game for a long time now but want back in!

So aside from the complete engine, cooling/intercooling, exhaust (the basics)... what do I need to source?

Which harness should I look for? Charger turbo or can I use others?
these days parts are scarce. best bet is a same year Turbo parts car and swap everything...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I feared as much. Finding this car was hard enough... a parts car? heh, maybe I should just swap something else in. Just wanted to keep it period/somewhat factory.
 

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Going from carb to FI so you'll need a later ('90 is TBI) L body tank and pump hanger. Then you'll want a turbo capable pump. You'll have to add a fuel filter somewhere and reroute or modify fuel lines on the engine side. You'll need to add wiring for the electric pump. A turbo specific wiring harness is ideal, obviously, but not absolutely necessary. I used a '95 2.5 TBI minivan harness and modified it running a SBEC on an original carb L body. I wouldn't recommend it as my first choice but you do have options if you're handy with electrical. You'll want the turbo L body core support brackets to keep the front end intact under hard launches. They may be hard to find but should be able to make something comparable. Fitting a FMIC intercooler might be kind of tricky without hacking things up much but could probably be done. Otherwise, it's the basic turbo swap stuff you mention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Going from carb.........
Thanks for the reply. Does look like the gas tank and pump assembly are still available new (and cheap!) so that's good.

Modify the fuel lines, why so? Are the stock ones not large enough diameter? Or do you mean just where they come out in the engine bay?

As for wiring, I've done it on other cars but I get mixed up easily so unless there's a step by step guide somewhere I'd be lost! I might hold out for a Charger turbo harness if that's the case.

Core support brackets? I'll have to look into this. Was this something the factory did the stiffen the front end?

Intake and intercooler piping I'm not worried about. Exhaust same. Mostly just sourcing the parts and the wiring that's got me scared!

Oh, and I'm not sure what 5-speed trans came with the 84 2.2 carb motor, but you think that will that hold up OK with the additional power?

Here's my 89 Voyager from a decade ago. Factory turbo auto van but swapped to a 523 and built the motor. Loved that thing! Can't imagine how much more fun this powerplant would be in a little L-body!
Motor vehicle Light Car Vehicle Automotive design
 

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Fuel lines - yeah just a little tweaking to match the fuel rail. Sizing is fine unless going well over 300hp. Carb lines are the same size as stock turbo cars.

Core support brackets were factory on turbo L bodies, Shelby Chargers, GLHS, etc. to stiffen the front end since the front mount takes most of the torque and abuse. It's a lot easier to add before the front end gets all tweaked up than fixing it later.

The little 525 trans is pretty flimsy, especially the earlier ones. Some people hate them. I've had decent luck but I'm pretty easy on trannys, most of the time. If I was going with just a basic 2.2 T2 setup and street tires on an L body and not racing, I'd probably push my luck with the 525 for a while. I'd just be slightly more careful. Otherwise, I'd want at least a 520. Then you get into linkage mods vs cable shifter swap. That's primarily a matter of opinion. Of course, the 523 would be a little better and the 555/568 would be the strongest. Unfortunately, the 555/568 gearing isn't the best for the little L bodies. LSD's are available for the 520/523. If nothing else, the current trans would get you by during the break-in process and working bugs out. Once the engine is sorted, then put in a better trans. That would be my plan.

As far as wiring, you may have a hard time finding anything plug and play, especially something still in good shape. Most harnesses will be T1 based so you'll still have to modify a little anyway. That puts you with the early style LM also. It's a little more difficult to recal since it's got 2 PROM's. That may or may not be a concern to you. If it were me, I'd modify to the 87 non-L LM. Many people would prefer a SMEC or SBEC. I'm not picky. I can do plenty with an LM. No matter, you'll want a harness to match you ECU. I'd get wiring diagrams for the 84 and the harness donor. Don't even start the job without them. I'm guessing the wiring would be your biggest problem if you're not comfortable with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again for the reply.

Good to know the fuel lines are sufficiently sized.

I'll source some core support brackets.

I'm easy with my shifts and don't plan on any hard launches. No slicks! Just a fun daily. Sounds like this trans should be fine.

Now, with the wiring... in my other car circles there are vendors or fellow enthusiasts that offer wiring harnesses. Is there anyone like that in the TD world? I would be much more comfortable installing a PNP harness if one were available!
 

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I don't know of any complete P&P harnesses. However, there's been another request or 2. I mentioned to my son about trying to come up with something since we've already gone that route a couple times. Maybe modifying more common TBI harnesses for turbo use or something? I'll mention it again. Unfortunately, going that route would be a little pricey and it would still be a mostly used harness. Sourcing all the original plugs, pins, and building a complete harness from scratch would be cost prohibitive for most.
 

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The best way is to get a harness from any 1988-89 2.2/2.5 Turbo vehicle.

Thanks
Randy
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If
I mentioned to my son about trying to come up with something since we've already gone that route a couple times. Maybe modifying more common TBI harnesses for turbo use or something? I'll mention it again.
That, would be really cool. I'm sure I could spread the word on the Facebook groups too and you'd have interest!
 

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carb car fuel lines are on the wrong side of the car when converting to turbo.. cough

and you're really wiser if you don't try to use them..
 

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Are you sure Dr Johny??

Any L bodys I did had the lines on the pass side and were the same sizes.

Thanks
Randy


carb car fuel lines are on the wrong side of the car when converting to turbo.. cough

and you're really wiser if you don't try to use them..
 

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yep I'm sure of that
I did a turbo conversion to an 85 turismo that started out as a carberated 2.2 with a 305 final drive 525 5 speed

it had fuel lines run up the driver side of the car.. then fuel lines running around the motor to the fuel pump ..and it's funky 3 way fuel filter.. the double fuel lines attached to the valve cover .. running along the front of.. and around to the carb and even a crash cage or bar arrangement protecting the fuel pump in event of a collision..and vacuum lines ..EVERYWHERE..
total disaster of engineering from the "volare era"

this car built as original was the biggest piece of XXXX I ever saw or owned and EVERYTHING died in the first year I had it , between '88 and 89 .. and.. I bought it in the fall of 88 with 45 ooo km's for 5500 bucks..plus tax

worst XXXXXXX mistake of my life..buying that pos turismo..but it looked absolutely perfect..it got a turbo conversion to full shelby running gear.. less the two lamp front end and it never got beat by a 5.0 mustang..though it still continued to eat parts almost daily..
 

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Well, I can't argue as I wasn't there, maybe the OPer will confirm.

Thanks
Randy
 

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now , maybe / probably.. if you started with a tbi omni then I'd expect the same fuel lines in the same place on the passenger side as a turbo car.
.that would make a lot of sence
 
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