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Discussion Starter #1
I've been on the board for a while but this is my first post. I just bought a '84 Rampage with a blown head gasket. Otherwise the truck is clean and original and would be excellent for a restoration. It has the A413 automatic transmission. As I've usually driven stick shift cars I'd like to eventually swap the auto if its not too much work. At this time I'm not planning on a building a turbocharged motor. First effort is to get the carbed 2.2 running. Last night I tested the compression and found only 1 cylinder with 120 lbs. The others were 85 #, 90# and 100 #. I am somewhat amazed that the motor will still run with those numbers ( for all of 1 minute in my possession ).

I also figure upon also replacing the radiator, but maybe I can keep that for now if it checks out. The motor must have been overheating for some reason. I don't see that the Mopar Performance head gaskets are still available for the 2.2/2.5. Are their quality brands of remanufactured cylinder heads that I can pick up at Autozone or another source for a comparable price as a local machine shop? I guess that depends upon whether this motor has burnt values etc.

I'll post some photos of the truck by this weekend. I also have a '47 Dodge truck, an '85 D150, both inline sixes.

Tim
 

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Hello Tim,
Welcome to the forum.
There are good fel pro head gasket, I will try to find the model.
Look for the part for sale section, MP head gaskets can be found.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any speculation on why these motors have cooling system problems? Some 2.2 owners don't have head gasket failures. I'm in south Texas where the weather can be warm for months. Are the radiators too small? Do the cooling fan relays fail? The block is a closed deck, that in theory ought to be very stable. There probably aren't many current 2.2 owners who use their cars for daily drivers, the emphasis seems to be racing them. I saw several of these cars in the salvage yard today, most did not have high miles on them.

Tim
 

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Hi Tim, If you go for a new replacement pay close attention to the way the curve in the filler neck is on the replacement.You do not want to lose that curve in the filler neck. If you go for a re-core on your reservoirs You'll be just as well off and solve that possible problem. If you can't find a good radiator shop in S.A. buzz up to Austin and find the Broken Spoke water hole on south Lamar just north off 290 west. A good Radiator shop will be right next door. Then make sure the temperature switch to your fan in the drivers side reservoir is good and you should have no overheating problems. BTW, Mind sharing the name and phone # of that wrecking yard in S.A. with all the Rampages in it with me in a P.M.? Thanks, Jer
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mind sharing the name and phone # of that wrecking yard in S.A. with all the Rampages in it with me in a P.M.? Thanks, Jer
There is a 5 speed Scamp listed in the Austin C/L. I don't know of any salvage yard with L-bodies. I've pondered swapping a '93 motor in my Rampage as I've come across a few with low miles. I'm not sure if the ones I've found are 2.2s or 2.5.

Tim
 

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Guess I miss read your first post. I already have my funny little truck. I thought you said you'd found several of them in an S.A. Boneyard yesterday. You meant 2.2L & 2.5L engines, I thought you'd found the mother load of pretty clean FLTs:laugh2:
 

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Hey Jer, nice to see you are back online here!

To the OP:

Since these engines use composite head gaskets, they are know to "rot" (for lack of a better term) over time. May not have been so much an overheating issue, as age...

The Felpro gasket is fine.

One word of caution regarding newer motors: a 93 will be a common block. It will not have a fuel pump boss on the front for the mechanical pump, so you will have to install a low-pressure electric pump to feed your carb. Also, your original motor will have a 6 bolt crank flange, the common block(and anything 86+) will be 8 bolt, so you will need to change your flexplate, which creates another issue since it's an auto. Your torque converter is a 3 bolt design with a 6 bolt crank, the 8 bolt design uses 4 converter bolts. You can get a custom flexplate, or re-drill a newer one, but it's a lot of work... Also the 3 bolt converters use a different drive than the 4 bolts, so it's not like you can install a new converter in your old trans... Yeah, lots of pitfalls to watch out for on these....

Personally, I'd get the head off, and see what the cylinders look like. Your low compression may just be a bad head gasket. If so, slide a new one in there, and see what happens...

Good luck. These little trucks are worth saving! Glad to see another one being resurrected!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
These little trucks are worth saving! Glad to see another one being resurrected!!!
This Rampage had recent registration when I got it, its not been neglected too much.

I looked again for donor drive trains, if I see a turbo model with manual transmission I might swap one. I'm planning to drive this truck with the carbed 2.2 and A413. I did see a Dakota with Mopar 2.5 and 5 speed. I see those now and then. I think the Dakota flywheel isn't compatible with the front drive models. There is also a 1985 Laser in the local PNP with a Turbo I motor, automatic transmission. The motor looks complete. I'm not sure about the Turbo 1, but maybe? The older turbo electronics puzzles me, but so does the later electronics.

Tim
 

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Hi

Glad to have another Rampage fan with me on the forum. I recently bought a 1984 Rampage 2.2 Prospector and I'm starting to work on it now.

Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I removed the cylinder head. The head gasket still looks okay leading me to question the low compression readings. Could a slipped timing belt have produced low compression numbers? I bought this Rampage in this condition, so I don't know its history. How to determine whether the deposits on the pistons and combustion chambers are fuel related or oil consumption? I don't have the tools to measure out of roundness or cylinder taper. I am debating whether to rebuild the entire motor.

Tim
 

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Hey Tim Keith, the only way to truly find out is to tear it down if you have the right equipment. If not, message Vigo and see if he has time to give it a quick once over and his opinion. He's an ASE mechanic and has lots of experience working with Mopars.

When it cools down some, let me know if you want to go junking together. Y'all got a lot more yards in SA than most any other city in the state. I'm itching to find some particular parts and it would be a good excuse for me to go down there.
 

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Tim Keith

For what its worth my thoughts are these on your dilemma. First I would just try to do a ring job on the engine honing the cylinders of course. The bottom ends of these 2.2's are extremely strong and last a long time. I ran a cracked block behind three cylinders for about 75 k miles before I replaced the block and I only did that because it was annoying me to add water and antifreeze every so often.

Now that the head is off you'll need a new head gasket and a new set of bolts. Don't skimp here. Also the head gaskets if I remember my information from my early days of these cars is that they usually leak a bit behind the second cylinder from the front of the engine.

Also, I don't think a slipped timing belt could cause compression problems but I'm not ASE certified so I think anything is possible.

Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think I'll re-install the head and do a leak down test. With the camshaft removed I will only need to rotate to TDC on each cylinder. I thought of getting the Harbor Freight leak down tester but it is calibrated for only 15 PSI.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I came across a '82 Rampage with a 4 speed. The 2.2 runs fine but the seller says that the transmission sometimes grinds when shifting. The transmission did not make any bad noises when I test drove it, but he says that the grinding is more than worn synchos and he wouldn't attempt to drive the truck for any distance. The seller is a professional mechanic. What could cause the intermittent grinding noises? Seemed okay to me.

I'd like to swap to a 5 speed. Which five speeds would be an easy conversion without changing the front axles?

The truck needs a passenger fender repair or replacement and the driver's rear bed corner has damage. The interior is ugly but the truck isn't as bad as it looks. It has a straight exhaust without a catalytic converter or muffler.

He said that he rebuilt the top end of the 2.2 and converted to a roller camshaft that he got from an '85 Turbo Shelby Charger. I did not know that roller cams were used in '85, but he got the parts from a salvage yard, it was probably not stock. He said that he did not swap the timing pulleys. The 2.2 seems to run okay - carb is too rich ( smells gassy).

Tim
 

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I came across a '82 Rampage with a 4 speed. The 2.2 runs fine but the seller says that the transmission sometimes grinds when shifting. The transmission did not make any bad noises when I test drove it, but he says that the grinding is more than worn synchos and he wouldn't attempt to drive the truck for any distance. The seller is a professional mechanic. What could cause the intermittent grinding noises? Seemed okay to me.

I'd like to swap to a 5 speed. Which five speeds would be an easy conversion without changing the front axles?

The truck needs a passenger fender repair or replacement and the driver's rear bed corner has damage. The interior is ugly but the truck isn't as bad as it looks. It has a straight exhaust without a catalytic converter or muffler.

He said that he rebuilt the top end of the 2.2 and converted to a roller camshaft that he got from an '85 Turbo Shelby Charger. I did not know that roller cams were used in '85, but he got the parts from a salvage yard, it was probably not stock. He said that he did not swap the timing pulleys. The 2.2 seems to run okay - carb is too rich ( smells gassy).

Tim
Darn it! I saw that on Craigslist. Messaged Vigo to see if he wanted to go halves on it and we would part it out. I think maybe we three ought to get together and get this as a donor. Tranny sounds bad, you don't want that stock 4 speed. However, that engine could be dropped in your Rampage and solve a lot of your problems. Turbo models did have roller cams, and the one from a Shelby Charger would be sweet! Ask him what else he did with the rebuild. Betcha he put in some different lifters, maybe rockers as well. What kind of carb is on it? Probably not the stock Holley, maybe a Weber 32/36? He's a mechanic, probably worked a lot on just the engine and got tired of it when the tranny started going out of whack.

I know you wanted a turbo, but this could get your 83 up and running pretty quick!

Me, my selfish interest would be in the floor pans (if they're in good shape)? There might be some other misc parts (tailgate, interior) as well.

What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I am getting the Rampage on Monday. He is moving out of town and can't take the truck. I think it is better than a parts truck. For me it is not too bad. The interior door panels and the dash pad are bad but I can recover those. It could use a passenger side fender but the other body repairs are minor. There was minor rust to the drivers side floor pan that he repaired. It needs a fuel tank. The cab isn't a Webber, he said it was rebuilt but he said the jets are wrong and it runs rich.

He replaced the clutch a few months ago. I don't know if the reason that the clutch was replaced is related to the 4 speed noise - which I didn't hear when we went for a test drive. I'm looking for a replacement transmission. There are plenty of A413 autos locally. I saw several five speed transmissions listed on car-parts.com.

So, if I got the roller rockers from a '84 turbo motor those would work with the stock timing pulleys? Or did that feature first appear in '85?

The oil pan drain pan has stripped threads. Can any 2.2/2.5 oil pan work with this motor?

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If I found a complete Turbo 1 2.2 what parts should I get to build a turbo charged 2.2 ? Other than the manifolds and the control modules. The camshaft and connecting rods ? I have heard that the OEM electronics of these early turbo motors are troublesome.

Tim
 

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Tim, glad to hear you're getting the Rampage! What's Mo Betta than one Rampage...TWO! Now you'll have double the pleasure, double the fun.

It was a desperate idea as I'm hard pressed to find a good pair of front door pans. I'm patient, and sooner or latter the right opportunity will present itself.

Regarding all your questions, it would be much better to post them in the engine and transmission specific sub forums. I'm a retro guy with a carb and supercharger with no onboard computer. Plan on becoming a road warrior in the coming dystopian future (Mad Wildwest). All bets are off this election year!

Good luck with your twin projects!!
 
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