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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hiya,

A buddy of mine just acquired CSX-T #929 and I'm looking to resolve some issues for him before we start bolting on upgrades. Keep in mind that I'm fairly new to cars in general, but i'm not allergic to turning a wrench and I have some basic electrical troubleshooting under my belt as well. I own/wrench on a bunch of motorcycles and have a few mopars as well - 91 lebaron 3.0 convertible parts car, 92 lebaron 3.0 convertible daily, 93 daytona - getting engine from parts lebaron, and two Turbo II lebarons on the way. I do have the factory service manuals, but I want to explore all avenues for information given my work schedule and time.

The CSX-T: Currently starts/runs/drives, but has a myriad of minor issues and a few serious ones. It overboosts to 10/15 psi and I guess hits cutoff? The car bucks pretty hard when this happens and you hear popping/backfiring i guess from the turbo. If you keep easy throttle the car will boost to around 7 no problem. I won't be driving it much and definitely won't be allowing the boost to go so high on test rides. The brakes don't engage until the last 5-10% of pedal travel. The E-Brake does not work. The reverse lock mechanism does not work - previous owner has something attached so he can manually pull open the mechanism. I have not tried it myself yet.

It supposedly has a TII block from a Turbo LeBaron - also supposedly 120psi across all 4 cylinders. Haven't compression tested myself as it just arrived late yesterday and I've been very busy since, but this is on the agenda. The car starts fine, seems to have normal amounts of power when driving easy and doesn't have any weird noises.

It throws codes 12, 13, 14. The battery was replaced 4 days ago so I'm sure that's where error 12 is coming from.

The goal is to get the car to "daily driver" level by fixing the boost and brake issues then go stage 3 ECU, intercooler, Garret turbo, 2.5" exhaust and whatever other upgrades can be easily installed. 200-300 WHP would be ideal. 200-250 is expected from word of mouth and some personal research. Can I expect to hit this level on a stage 3 ecu (15psi?)

The previous owner seems to think most of the issues are vacuum line related. My summarized questions are:

Are there any very obvious things I should be looking at in terms of the overboosting issue? I want to replace the vacuum lines in the car ASAP. They were supposedly done a few years back and had the car running like a top, but the car sat for a few years and I'm not sure of the quality/specs of the lines. Most of them look to be in really good shape and are malleable, but some are visibly starting to dry-rot.

Is there a trusted brand that I should go with for vacuum lines and what measurements am I looking for?

Approximately how many feet of vacuum line do I need?

Is it possible the brake issue is caused by vacuum lines? (Previous owner seems to think so)

If I upgrade the fuel pump to a walbro 255 - is it ok to run stock injectors? What is the best place to order a walbro pump?

Since I probably won't be needing a 3-Bar MAP sensor - in the event that I test mine and it needs to be replaced - is there a trusted source for these specifically?

Is there a definite fix for the reverse lock mechanism or do I just have to get creative?

How quick/easy is an E-Brake adjustment? Is there a guide anywhere that can get me situated?

Is there a guide for the Grand Caravan brake conversion? All parts to complete the conversion were included with the car.

I'll add more as I think about it.

Any help/advice/information/knowledge is greatly appreciated!

Is there an easy way to check the block to verify that it is indeed a TII block?

Is there an easy way to verify whether or not the head is a TI or TII head?
 

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What year are we working on?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
1988 Turbo 1 :).

Wednesday I'll be bypassing the solenoid near the MAP to see if error 13 disappears and if the boost issue clears up at all. If I'm understanding correctly the boost should self-limit to ~7psi on a stock SMEC correct?

I wonder if the TII SMEC was swapped in when the engine was swapped in.

Also have some more questions:

I'm getting ready to replace the Master cylinder after speaking with someone about the brake issues. I'm going to be ordering a new Dorman MC with 21mm bore and just wanted to make sure its a suitable replacement and that I don't need anything specific or one with a larger bore. I couldn't find much information in a google search.
 

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Welcome and wow, lots of questions!!

I suggest you ask them one at a time but I'm old and slow.

A 1988 T-I would have a Mitsu turbo originally so start there.

They can overboost easily if the exhaust is made more free flowing.

I would connect a hose from the wastegate actuator to manifold vacuum.

It's not vacuum but boost that operates the turbo wastegate actuator.

Obviously vacuum and boost can both present in the intake manifold.

This direct hose should give you a steady boost of approx 7 PSI.

This enables you to figure out other things without overboosting.

Eventually, manual boost control is the way to go with high and low.

This is assuming you have an original style exhaust.

There are 2 basic styles of Engines, 1989 and newer are called common blocks.

1988 and older are not common blocks and have a fuel pump block off plate.

The T-II Lebaron Engine mentioned could be a 1987-88 or 1989.

Might as well figure this out right off the start as there are differences.

Either way, T-II Engines came with the desirable Garrett turbo.

The original vacuum harness can be un necessarily complicated.

For simplicity a vacuum block can be used as there are only a few critical lines.

If you go with colored vacuum lines some of us loose interest!!

Factory service manuals are a must as others are mostly generic.

There are numbers on the injectors and computer (SMEC)

Should get them first as there can be mis-match issues.

Fuel pump isnt directly related to injectors and our vendors can supply one.

FWD Performance and Turbos unleashed are mostly our trusted vendors.

The reverse lockout can often be easily repaired if the parts are still there.

Repair kits were once available but are scarce now as they are discontinued.

There are lots of posts on this I recommend you search or create a new thread.

Actually, a few threads each dealing with a specific issue!!

And, post pics when you are able.

Thanks
Randy
 

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88 Turbo 1 Vacuum.jpg
 

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Also, as far as Overboost Shutdown, it will not matter if you are using the T-1 or T-2 SMEC, both are calibrated for a 2 Bar Map so you will not see Overboost Shutdown until you are over 14.5 lbs. of boost with either SMEC.

Diagnose/Repair the Hard Fault Code 13 first, if the overboost issue still persists then run the Code 45 diagnostics.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! I'll did read the posts quickly, but will re-read later. Had to read quickly since i'm getting ready for work. It was somewhere in the realm of 10-12 degrees yesterday plus I worked until 7pm so I couldn't really do much with the car.

Its warming up a tad and should be in the 40s-60s wednesday/thursday. I'll try to squash that 13 fault wednesday. I ordered a new MC and some DOT3 as well to hopefully remedy the brake issue.

The car is already utilizing a vacuum block so hopefully it'll make things easier? The previous owner did say that the car is still using the mitsubishi turbo. Again - no experience with turbos, but it seems to spool up really quickly so that is likely so.

I actually do have the factory service manuals and the one that has all of the drivability tests so I'll be combing those as well as soon as time permits. Just have a hectic schedule for the time being and the weather is making things more difficult.

Thanks again, guys. I'll send an update ASAP.
 

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10-12 degrees F, ???
Where are you from?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
10-12 degrees F, ???
Where are you from?
I'm living in Colorado at the moment. Just south of Denver. I do have a garage, but its taken up by a lebaron on stands and a daytona with a seized engine. Hopefully the LeBaron will be gone soon so I can pull the CSX in.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I think the overboost issue is squashed.

I found a vacuum line that was popped off of the left port of the throttle body. Popped it back on, pulled the negative cable off the battery for 30 minutes to reset the codes, then went for a test drive.

The boost seems to have a happy spot around 7psi now, but if I keep accelerating in the gear that i'm in I can get the gauge to slowly creep up to 10-15. Prior the gauge would boost up to 15 EXTREMELY fast and trigger overboost shutdown. Is this normal behavior just from pushing the engine a tad instead of shifting? I would be forever grateful if someone could explain normal boost behavior to me.

Codes 13 and 14 did not return, only code 12 which is obviously just because of the battery. I'm assuming this clears after so many on/off cycles?

The car still has some drivability issues. Its in the 40s/50s today. It wanted to stall when idling and pressing the pedal down made the issue worse until the car idled and the throttle was feathered for 3-5 minutes. Seems very similar to fuel pump/fuel delivery issues to me. There is a lot of banging coming from under the hood too when driving. Can't tell if its parts hitting something from motor mounts or if its backfiring. If the car is running lean due to a fuel delivery issue will I hear backfiring from the turbo? - edit its backfiring through the airbox. Will get that fueling issue sorted :)

The new brake master cylinder arrives tomorrow. If it arrives in the morning I might have time to replace it tomorrow . . . otherwise it may not happen for another week :(.

I did buy a kit that makes cleaning the injectors easier so I'll work on getting a new pump, back flushing the fuel line if I can, and getting those injectors/fuel rail cleaned up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I tried.

Thanks
Randy
Randy, i'm not sure how to interpret your post.

I appreciate all the help you and Jan have given so far. I'm constantly coming back to the thread and re-reading all of the posts to try to make sense of things. I'm pretty new to the car world and weather, full time work, and time constraints are keeping me from getting things done as quickly as I'd like. I also just work kind of slow naturally.

I DID get the brake issues sorted last night by replacing the MC and bleeding it. I'll be bleeding the calipers at some point too hopefully.

A fuel pump will likely be ordered today and I'll try to get some information off of the SMEC and injectors as well.
 

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IMO you should actually check fuel pressure before buying/ installing a new fuel pump.
Either purchase or rent a fuel pressure gauge.

If you do need a pump consider a Walbro other than an aftermarket stock replacement.

Backfiring from the intake indicates a Timing Issue, either Cam/Ignition timing or an Ignition crossfire issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
IMO you should actually check fuel pressure before buying/ installing a new fuel pump.
Either purchase or rent a fuel pressure gauge.

If you do need a pump consider a Walbro other than an aftermarket stock replacement.

Backfiring from the intake indicates a Timing Issue, either Cam/Ignition timing or an Ignition crossfire issue.

Thank you!

I was actually told by someone else that the backfiring could be a timing issue as well. I've had a vehicle or two with fuel pump/fueling issues which is kind of why I was trying to go that route. The walbro 255 is what I was going to order. Considering the upgrade path we want to take we will end up with the walbro 255 at some point for sure.

I'll shift over to checking the timing and i'll grab a cheap fuel pressure gauge/tester as well before landing on ordering the pump in the immediate future. Previous owner did say that the car had fueling issues prior to purchase. He seemed like a good guy that just couldn't put the time/effort into the car anymore for personal reasons. I don't think I've found anything significant on the car that he failed to mention.
 

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You may very well have a fuel issue amongst other things, however, without first diagnosing and having real life numbers just replacing parts without knowing if they are good or bad can lead to bigger issues.

Upgrading parts after a car is running and running properly is fine since if you encounter a problem you know where it came from, as long as you do not replace numerous parts all at once which leads to other issues itself, ask my Son.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh yeah my friend keeps asking if we should place a big order of upgrades for the car to save on shipping. Its all in good faith, but I have to keep telling him - daily driver first, upgrades later. I want him to have a great car in the end. I think overall he won't spend more than $50 or so in shipping on 100% necessary parts to get to that point.

I'm very familiar with the diagnostic point-of-view. I repair things for my day job and I have to have a very educated guess or a definitive answer about things whenever I order parts etc. Of course some liberties are taken as well. I will diagnose as best as I can with most things and then "brute force" others based on the time/cost/usefulness factor.

I appreciate all of your input man. I'm picking up my TII LeBaron today so i'm not sure how much time I can spend on the CSX-T, but I will report back with what I find when I find it :).
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
IMO you should actually check fuel pressure before buying/ installing a new fuel pump.
Either purchase or rent a fuel pressure gauge.

If you do need a pump consider a Walbro other than an aftermarket stock replacement.

Backfiring from the intake indicates a Timing Issue, either Cam/Ignition timing or an Ignition crossfire issue.
I tried a fuel pressure test and am getting weird results out of the gate.

On key on/relay bypassed I get around 18-20 psi - obviously way too low.

If I remove the jumper wire for the relay the pressure drops to 0 immediately

If I remove the jumper wire and pinch the return line (the one not attached to the regulator) the pressure holds steady. I can't access the key - if I turn it off the relay loses power.

I can't pinch both lines simultaneously at the moment unfortunately. Pressure does not hold steady if I pinch the inlet.

If I run the car with the fuel pressure gauge hooked it up maintains 20psi.

No fuel found in the vacuum line going to the FPR.

Does this most likely mean the FPR is the culprit of my woes and then possibly the fuel pump and/or filter, contingent on more tests?

No time to check timing unfortunately, but someone WAS under the timing cover at one point. I'll get to that next time I hope.
 

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20 PSI on a turbo car is extremely low.
With the key on/engine off and the ASD on fuel pressure needs to be 53-57 PSI.
If you pinch the return line during this process you should read the fuel pumps max capability which should read a minimum of 80 PSI instantly when you momentarily pinch off the return line.
If pressure is low you need to check in front of the fuel filter.
If pressure is still low the issue is with the pump, in tank filter or hanger assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
20 PSI on a turbo car is extremely low.
With the key on/engine off and the ASD on fuel pressure needs to be 53-57 PSI.
If you pinch the return line during this process you should read the fuel pumps max capability which should read a minimum of 80 PSI instantly when you momentarily pinch off the return line.
If pressure is low you need to check in front of the fuel filter.
If pressure is still low the issue is with the pump, in tank filter or hanger assembly.

I'm not sure if my gauges have the ability to test in front of the fuel filter, but I will check. That means hooking it directly to the fuel line correct?

I'm back at work now so I may not be able to get to it for up to a week, but will report my findings ASAP.
 

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I would "deadhead" the pump first, then temporarily bypass the filter and recheck pressure.
If it is still low be sure there are no restrictions in the line(s) from the tank to the fuel rail, if ok, remove and inspect the hanger, replace the pump if needed.
 
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