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I'm going to strip the other Spirit down. I'm now down to one turbo, one intercooler, one radiator, and, if I'm lucky, one head. We all know I'm definitely NOT lucky, but it's worth a try. I'm all out of money and running cars now.
U need a TBI beater car. I got maybe $100 into mine (tons of half ass work)and drive it everyday. Paid scrap price for it.

I don't know what you paid for those Spirit RT'S but I'm guessing both owners knew the cars had major problems and were just trying to get money and screw someone over. I have never had even the cheapest $20-30 cars I bought blow up that quickly.
I got my RT for $400 and sold it in running condition for cheap. I couldn't afford $500+ for a fancy clutch to handle the power and the car was getting ratty from sitting.

I have a 1 year removal rule for anything sitting. If you can't get to it within a year it's just gonna sit forever and become a lawn ornament...
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
I'm looking at the threads related to replacing the 16v engine with an 8v, and it looks very simple. The head from the running Spirit cracked down the end. I don't think I've ever seen that before. Considering the serious lack of parts, I'll try to get one single working 16v Spirit and go ahead and switch the other one to 8v.

For what it's worth, the first one was sold to me by someone who inherited it from his neighbor when he died. I drained the fluids and didn't find any head gasket potion, so I think it was starting to fail when I got it. I'm still hopeful that it only has a blown head gasket. The second one is very well documented and has paperwork for the machine work and parts purchased, and it drove awesome for a while and then suddenly cracked down the side. I don't think I can honestly blame either seller for what I ended up with.

I should clarify, I have plenty of fleet vehicles. I just don't have "my" own car. )-: But it looks like I could swap the motor from the LeBaron into the Spirit, install an 8v SBEC, and be done...I think? I'll do a bit more research.
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Wow.... The old threads about converting to 8v are so full of hate. It doesn't make any sense...and it also makes it hard to sift through for actually useful information. I've had an excellent time on this community since I joined, but I probably would have just left the community if I'd been around back then.

Lots of <3 to the many who have helped me out here!
 

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Wow.... The old threads about converting to 8v are so full of hate. It doesn't make any sense...and it also makes it hard to sift through for actually useful information. I've had an excellent time on this community since I joined, but I probably would have just left the community if I'd been around back then.

Lots of <3 to the many who have helped me out here!
Just bolt up the motor then wires,hoses etc. And ur done. U can use the stock 568 if u want too.
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Took the head off of the one I was running, and there is a spider crack from the inside of a coolant passage on top down the cam sprocket side, a crack from a bolt hole to a coolant passage, two cracks between combustion chambers and the exhaust side, and one crack between a combustion chamber and a coolant passage. This thing cracked like a hard boiled egg. Ironically, the one on the other Spirit is cracked on all three casting plugs, but it looks totally repairable! Looks like that one's probably going to Jackson Simler.
 

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1984 Dodge Rampage Turbo
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I have always thought the Spirit R/T was a awesome machine. I do not want to preach, just tell my story. Twenty years ago my brother worked at our Chrysler dealership, and in '97 I had a chance to buy a white Spirit R/T. Brother advised about the head issue, and it was rode pretty hard in its short life. I passed on it, but couple years later, my brother had a red Spirit R/T, immaculate. He never had a head issue, but I am sure he had it sent off right away. He sold it couple years later, do not know where it went. Still think they are the pinnacle of the FWD Mopar era.

Glad to hear one is still salvageable.
 
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I have always thought the Spirit R/T was a awesome machine. I do not want to preach, just tell my story. Twenty years ago my brother worked at our Chrysler dealership, and in '97 I had a chance to buy a white Spirit R/T. Brother advised about the head issue, and it was rode pretty hard in its short life. I passed on it, but couple years later, my brother had a red Spirit R/T, immaculate. He never had a head issue, but I am sure he had it sent off right away. He sold it couple years later, do not know where it went. Still think they are the pinnacle of the FWD Mopar era.

Glad to hear one is still salvageable.
I think he just got screwed by 2 scam sellers. mine was a $400 clapped out POS with the engine literally falling out with missing bolts/ broken mount brackets and I threw on some bolts/brackets from a jyard 2.5 van and I beat the crap out of it for 2 years then sold it, still ran fine no leaks/smoke. Just couldn't afford a high end clutch to handle the power from the bigger Turbo.


I've been seeing a ton of people getting burned recently, this guy got a 2006 Sebring vert. The guy he bought it from said it just need a tie rod it shakes violently after 60 and the tires were extremely worn and this is what I found.


Only have to spend about 2 grand in a shop to drop the sub frame replace the rack and then realign the sub frame.
 

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1984 Dodge Rampage Turbo
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I think he just got screwed by 2 scam sellers
I agree. I felt when buying TD's, we do not need to be very fussy, there are plenty of parts, and pretty durable. With the Spirits, I feel special attention needs to be made of the history and condition. If anything is flaky, it is best to walk away unless you have deep pockets.
 
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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
I have deep pockets for these car projects...but it doesn't seem to matter. :-D I wouldn't feel totally embarrassed for being scammed, but for the record, I'm certain neither seller was deceptive in any way. The first one was looked over by the seller, by myself, and by an ASE certified mechanic. None of us knew the true history, because the previous driver died.

The second one is actually extremely well documented, and the seller is professional racer. He sold this one because he accidentally ended up with too many red 1991 Spirit R/T's. I think HE was scammed, though, as the head work doesn't look too good. I think they braised it and planed it and called it a day. One of the cracks looks like someone cut a groove and filled it, and then the fill blew out. The machine shop closed soon after.
 

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I have deep pockets for these car projects...but it doesn't seem to matter. :-D I wouldn't feel totally embarrassed for being scammed, but for the record, I'm certain neither seller was deceptive in any way. The first one was looked over by the seller, by myself, and by an ASE certified mechanic. None of us knew the true history, because the previous driver died.

The second one is actually extremely well documented, and the seller is professional racer. He sold this one because he accidentally ended up with too many red 1991 Spirit R/T's. I think HE was scammed, though, as the head work doesn't look too good. I think they braised it and planed it and called it a day. One of the cracks looks like someone cut a groove and filled it, and then the fill blew out. The machine shop closed soon after.
I am willing to bet that both guys had nicer cars and they sold you the shitty ones. I see that all the time. Heads don't just crack randomly and cars don't blow up within days of driving them for no reason.
When I went to look at that TBI car the kid wanted wanted like $900 and I saw the aluminum radiator/custom fan and the fact that it ran like crap and overheated pretty quick, so I knew pretty much the head was junk and I offered him scrap price he accepted and I drove the car away. I saw through his BS.
As a test you can ask both these guys for the money back and I guarantee they're just gonna ghost you.
My game of only buying cars for scrap price keeps me from getting screwed since scammers always want stupid money anyways.
If I'm paying more than $300-$400 I take the thing on the highway push it real hard look for any signs of smoking overheating fluid mixture noises etc
It's crazy how people are asking stupid money for massively broken cars and scamming left and right.
My cousin spent 3K on a Nissan murano and the title was messed up after she fixed that the front control arm broke changed it then the alternator died changed that then a week later the coil pack in the back broke (pull intake job) changed that and then a week later the frame broke and now it's in the junkyard...

RT heads are hella rare and expensive.
 

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Sorry to hear about the issues you're having with these cars, but have you considered a 2.4 swap? These engines are readily available and Jackson Simler offers mounts and FWD performance has wiring harnesses
 

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Sorry to hear about the issues you're having with these cars, but have you considered a 2.4 swap? These engines are readily available and Jackson Simler offers mounts and FWD performance has wiring harnesses
I am curious who Jackson is. Is he a member, have a website?
 

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So, I have to admit something. I've taken a few engines out and put them back, but I've always done it in pieces. I can't believe how (relatively) easy this was View attachment 280987

View attachment 280988

View attachment 280986
It's only 3 bolts and u can drop the whole drivetrain.
Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Vehicle registration plate Automotive tail & brake light


2.5 will have more low end but needs way more boost to pull up top like a T3. Should be a good combination in the Spirit.
That guy in the video I posted is also from Pennsylvania maybe he knows someone who can Weld your aT3 heads for you
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
I still plan to get the 16v heads looked at, but due to a deficit of parts, the best chance to get two running Spirit's is an 8v setup in one and a 16v in the other. I need to get the block decked regardless, and I'm expecting the overall project to take a year. In the meantime, my goal is to have an 8v setup that exceeds the HP of a stock 16v with as much MOPAR parts as possible.

@unstable bob I've thought about it, but it comes down to what I want the final product to be. My first choice would be to stay as close to an original Lotus configuration as possible. Between these two cars, I believe I can make one very true Spirit R/T, and the other car is going to be my personal dream car...not necessarily original but very Shelby in "spirit". I'm very interested in the 2.4 configuration, but maybe not for these cars.

@arieskcar Maybe more than 3 bolts. ;-) But yeah, I've always shied away from macro moves, and I'm glad I finally did this. Also, I know there's a lot of hate for the Mitsubishi turbo here, but I really think Chrysler was right to choose it for the mid-power builds. I want over 200HP, but I don't want it to take so much work to build up boost. The LeBaron, for all of its faults, had practically no turbo lag! I threw a cheap G-valve on it, and I couldn't believe how fast it made power. The Spirit (and New Yorker) take work to spool up. I'm not driving any of these cars down the 1320. I'm taking off at a green light, merging onto I-81 or I-95, and just generally having a lot of fun. 15PSI seems to be a breeze for the Mitsu, and I imagine it would be reliable to 18 or so PSI. I know I have a completely different type of luck from the rest of the universe, but almost every single Garrett turbo I've had was bad, and only one Mitsubishi ever gave me trouble (and it still worked reliably). One thing I'm really curious about is to see if two stock IC's can be placed side by side next to a Honda Civic radiator. If so, I think 18PSI with a TE04H and 8v with a moderately opened exhaust could be a fun daily driver. Thanks to Cindy, the upgrade path is very simple. It's not the legendary Lotus head, but I'd be proud to drive it anyway.
 
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