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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up a 88 Reliant in very good shape for the age and New England rust condition. Has 1-2% brakes (Almost didn't make it back) runs hot and has no power. Seems all original old lady special.

Plans are
Brake upgrade
T2 swap
Suspension upgrades
Big exhaust
Front mount IC
Keep it looking stock
And Fluid Film undercoat.

I think it has a clogged cat or something it Doesn't have a ton of power had to downshift from 3rd to 1st going up a hill and it has the Cam everyone says is the best one the 88 TBI Cam.

Once I secure a junkyard Turbo transmission and T2 engine harness I should have enough parts to start the swap this Fall/Winter.

1st objective is getting brakes going it actually has no hydraulic leaks I think the master cylinder just went bad the fluid's old Brown And the pedal just goes to the floor had to drive it on just the E break. Also brakes hoses have cracks. Looking at the interior it might actually have only 45000 original miles.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Minor Update

Master Cylinder, Air Filter and Thermostat Done

Now it has too much brakes instead of none. It drags a lil so I'm guessing the hoses are crumbling internally. It has a very firm pedal.
Got new hoses coming tomorrow.
Changed thermostat to a 180 and drilled the 1/16 hole. Seems to run much cooler quarter to just over half with the fan taking it down if idling. Before it would stay right below the white line for overheat past 3/4. It lost no coolant so the prev owner may have been wrong about it having a bad headgasket.
Had a spare new TBI Air filter so changed that and found a nice nest blocking my HP.

Drove it around with barely dragging brakes still needs a tune up but brakes come first since the tbi motor is gonna be pulled hopefully soon for a T2 swap.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Brakes hoses came in and it was the same shipping cost so I grabbed a $5 extra headgasket and for the 3rd time it was defective.
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On a positive note got the breakhoses done and magically one of the nuts actually turned instead of getting seized to the line like they always do.
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The Other one wasn't so lucky but it's just temporary till I change all the lines.
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gravity bled the brakes and no more dragging brakes drives great.

Next objective is clean,rustproof, Fix anything else broken, get it registered, secure Turbo trans, T1/T2 harness, assemble Engine and actually T2 swap it then brake/Suspension tire upgrade.
 

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Looks good!!

If you have trouble finding rear brake hoses I have an extra pair.

I just did the brakes on my 88 and had to get parts from 2 sources.

Both ended getting me a pair after thinking they weren't available.

Thanks
Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks good!!

If you have trouble finding rear brake hoses I have an extra pair.

I just did the brakes on my 88 and had to get parts from 2 sources.

Both ended getting me a pair after thinking they weren't available.

Thanks
Randy
Rockauto had em but $2 each I got spares just in case and no copper washers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Going to do a deep clean and oil based undercoating but found a pond in the trunk. I'm thinking taillight seals?
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I pulled the plugs for the trunk Pan had a nice vortex of water but on the right side I think I have to drill a hole or somehow get the water out left side was dry....
 

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1989 Dodge Shadow 2.5 non turbo 3 speed automatic
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I had the same thing on my shadow. The taillights, seam where the rear structure is welded to the fenders (seam in the hatches rain gutter), and the aluminum pice above the triangle window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Car drove great all day then at night the front right caliper started dragging and it would barely go over 30Mph so turned around and used some water to keep it from burning. Car sat a decade so still working the bugs out.

Just ordered the "HD" brake setup 1 pin calipers w/brackets,260mm rotors and some HD pads. My 86 and 88 Lebaron have the HD brakes and it stops decent and can lock up the wheels....

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just did the HD brake upgrade. Now it stops way better and can lockup the front wheels so rear disc/bigger drums or just new rear stock brakes are in order. The worst part is those clips on the pads and Caliper like a rubics cube....

Also did pass motor mount, basic plugs (3) wires cap rotor and set timing 12-14 and set gap at .40 it picks up much better just have to wait on the 4th plug (rockauto). I used all the cheapest parts since this TBI motors gonna be removed once the Turbo motor is ready and the harness/transmission/fuel pump are in.

Next is deep clean, undercoat, taillight seals, fuel filter, timing belt+ps wp alt. Oil change, Suspension, rims tires, new brake lines copper, trans fluid filter, and whatever else needs fixing.

Way later mods are 89 Subframe/suspension Daytona rear axle, 3" exhaust...

Also had a idea to put T2 rods+Turbo pistons+Turbo exhaust vales +manifolds. Will that work on a 88 Block? Gonna try to get the Turbo trans soon was thinking a lockup unit and maybe .90 transfer gears if I do a 2.5 Turbo swap. So it can cruise at 80....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Progress
Just changed.
shocks KYB exel G
Struts Monroe Sensa tracs

Old ones were getting stuck never seen that before. You could push em down but they wouldn't come back up. Car was crazy bouncy.

Going to try to get a Turbo motor together since the junkyards are bare. And my yard is up some stairs so building the motor and moving it here ain't happening.

Also still looking for a 88-89 T1 T2 harness
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Updates. The TBI motor started running extremely bad and thanks to someone on here they pointed out it was the EGR. That has been done and since it was nice out also did the timing belt now the only parts left to change are the front and transmission mount and then under coat/paint the inside.
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Next step is To take it on a long ride to see if there's any other issues and then the fun begins...

3 paths
1. Build a motor with the parts I have (1.5 TBI motors or damaged 2.5 Turbo block with G head)
2. Buy 86 Lebaron swap in that Turbo motor.
3 Most radical. Swap pistons on TBI rods or the T2 rods I have and use the G Head or swap valves on the Tbi head.

Then a junkyard Turbo Trans.
Swap fuel pump.

Then last but not least WIRING. Have had no luck finding a harness but looking at the diagrams the TBI harness is 90% the same so I might just have to make the homemade route .. .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Updates. Got 2 Turbo junkyard transmissions. A 90 and a 92 from Turbo shadows (I hope lol) Also radio upgrade since the stock one is cutting out and last preset is broke. I love these late 90s Jeep radios....
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The 90 Trans says Turbo but how to identify the other one?
 

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Dude you’re moving on it pretty quick I think! I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll get yours running before I get mine haha. Also good idea on the Jeep radio. Never really thought about swapping to that. Still has a near stock look but definitely an upgrade!
 

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Updates. Got 2 Turbo junkyard transmissions. A 90 and a 92 from Turbo shadows (I hope lol) Also radio upgrade since the stock one is cutting out and last preset is broke. I love these late 90s Jeep radios....
View attachment 276824
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The 90 Trans says Turbo but how to identify the other one?
There is identification #'s on the very bottom edge of the trans. The very bottom of the side pointing outward in your pics. You might have to use a wire brush or some brake cleaner on it, but you should find it. It should tell you turbo or NA, transfer gears, and FD ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
There is identification #'s on the very bottom edge of the trans. The very bottom of the side pointing outward in your pics. You might have to use a wire brush or some brake cleaner on it, but you should find it. It should tell you turbo or NA, transfer gears, and FD ratio.
The Turbo one is good but the lockup one looks to be a tbi unit. Any info on pk4531114 0475?
The junkyard guy has 3 more He's gonna look for the TURBO sticker on them
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If I swap out the pistons and do a top swap maybe...
Dude you’re moving on it pretty quick I think! I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll get yours running before I get mine haha. Also good idea on the Jeep radio. Never really thought about swapping to that. Still has a near stock look but definitely an upgrade!
 

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Well if I'm reading the parts book correctly, it is a 89 TBI 2.5 with lock up 3.02 FD.
It lists a production # as 4531114 with a service # of 4531115.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Well if I'm reading the parts book correctly, it is a 89 TBI 2.5 with lock up 3.02 FD.
It lists a production # as 4531114 with a service # of 4531115.
ok junkyard guy got back to me
4471947 9400
4471921 4523 out of a 88 Turbo Lebaron
4659401 1904
and a rebuilt 453114 out of a Shadow

Are any of these better or all no good for BOOST?
 

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Get a hold of a on-line parts manual and look up the #'s. The turbo trannys are going to be beefier. Your gonna need something 87 up in larger car for output shaft splines to be correct. So in other words NOT L-body.
 
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