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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I bought a 1991 Dodge Shadow ES, 5 speed turbo, from another member here. I'm pleased to say that I have had a great experience sharing parts with those in need, seeking help from the TD geniuses on the forums, and even buying a car listed here. I've sold a car to another member (though not through the site), and hopefully he posts his project progress as well.

276670


Anyone familiar with the Turbo Dodge timeline will know it's a T1 2.5 with an A568. I was able to drive it home through the hardest rain in my lifetime. I mean it was pouring. There were flood warnings on the radio, standing water, the works. It lost boost part way home, and a lovely piece of highway dinged the muffler, but it faithfully took me home.

The loss of boost was due to the blow off valve hose popping off, so it was pretty easy to fix that once I got home. I'm not sure why it decided to do that, but it's just an air hose, so it was a quick and easy fix.

The trip gave me an overall first impression that the car mechanically wants to drive. There are some electrical issues. The interior is in good shape! The headliner has fallen in, and there are a few minor interior flaws, but overall it's in good shape! No spilled sodas, cigarettes, piles of stuck candies, etc.

The body has a significant amount of rust, almost across the entire body. The support members are solid, as far as I've checked. It's going to take a lot of work, but the bones are good.

The engine, transmission, drivetrain, and most of the electrical system are in good condition. A lot of the cars I've seen have had strange re-wiring, neglected joints, etc., but for the most part it's the way it should be. I will try to get a good baseline, such as compression, condition of the fluids, etc. soon.

Some of the vacuum lines have disintegrated, which happens to virtually all of these cars. The fuel lines have as well. The PCV grommet split, which is also very common.

Unfortunately I won't be able to start doing a deeper inspection for a few days. I have to go out of town in the trusty Nissan for a few days. I'll keep posting soon!
 

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Hi all! I bought a 1991 Dodge Shadow ES, 5 speed turbo, from another member here. I'm pleased to say that I have had a great experience sharing parts with those in need, seeking help from the TD geniuses on the forums, and even buying a car listed here. I've sold a car to another member (though not through the site), and hopefully he posts his project progress as well.

View attachment 276670

Anyone familiar with the Turbo Dodge timeline will know it's a T1 2.5 with an A568. I was able to drive it home through the hardest rain in my lifetime. I mean it was pouring. There were flood warnings on the radio, standing water, the works. It lost boost part way home, and a lovely piece of highway dinged the muffler, but it faithfully took me home.

The loss of boost was due to the blow off valve hose popping off, so it was pretty easy to fix that once I got home. I'm not sure why it decided to do that, but it's just an air hose, so it was a quick and easy fix.

The trip gave me an overall first impression that the car mechanically wants to drive. There are some electrical issues. The interior is in good shape! The headliner has fallen in, and there are a few minor interior flaws, but overall it's in good shape! No spilled sodas, cigarettes, piles of stuck candies, etc.

The body has a significant amount of rust, almost across the entire body. The support members are solid, as far as I've checked. It's going to take a lot of work, but the bones are good.

The engine, transmission, drivetrain, and most of the electrical system are in good condition. A lot of the cars I've seen have had strange re-wiring, neglected joints, etc., but for the most part it's the way it should be. I will try to get a good baseline, such as compression, condition of the fluids, etc. soon.

Some of the vacuum lines have disintegrated, which happens to virtually all of these cars. The fuel lines have as well. The PCV grommet split, which is also very common.

Unfortunately I won't be able to start doing a deeper inspection for a few days. I have to go out of town in the trusty Nissan for a few days. I'll keep posting soon!
I told him the car would make it...
 

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Hi: Start very carefully replacing the original vacuum lines one by one. Pay close attention to the position and location of inline vacuum fittings as orifices can be hidden within the vacuum fittings. The check valves are more noticeable. Establishing your knowledge of the original system will lead to you becoming a genius of your vehicle or machine. Note: most of the orifices are built into inline, tee or y shaped vacuum hose connectors. Use a utility knife to lance the old vacuum line off of the very fragile fitting or check valve. Hopefully my short post saves you hours of soul searching and trouble searching and hunting for non-available parts.
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm really impressed how good the vacuum lines are on this one, compared to any other TD I've had. I do plan to carefully re-map the existing network, especially since I plan to add the intercooler and probably have to move (and break) some lines to do it. My biggest concern, above all else right now, is stopping the rust and getting the car to where it will pass inspection. Pennsylvania salt was REALLY bad on this car and the exhaust system. Also I drove it a few miles with the parking brake on, so I might be replacing the brakes before inspection, haha! It has a pedal-style, which is really confusing on a manual transmission car.

Do you have any parts cars? I may be looking for headlight lenses (depending on the outcome of inspection), and they don't seem to be available to buy at any price.
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whew, pneumonia knocked me on my rear! Anyway, I had a body shop give a thorough assessment of the frame and body rust. The first step is to get the car to pass inspection. The rear spring mounts are rusted in half, and the front frame sleds (not sure what they are actually called) are also too far rusted, so I'm going to have the shop fabricate and weld replacements for both. The stabilizer bar bushings are going to be a trick, but that should be knocked out on the same day. Following that, I'm going to do quick-n-dirty cuts and JB Weld / rivet plates on to repair the holes in the floorboard and roll panels.

So far, I've replaced the stereo with a full-din stereo, which required just minor cutting of the plastics. It actually fits and works quite well! I wanted to get a more complete stereo, such as with BlueTooth, especially since my state has a strict hands-free rule.

The headliner was falling down, so on a whim I removed the headliner, removed all of the cloth, lightly brushed down to the fiberglass, and gave it a coating with truck bedliner. One single can did the trick, and I'm actually really happy with the result! It feels totally secure, and if anything, I think it has improved the acoustics. We'll see how it lasts long-term, but I can't imagine truck bedliner wearing out. I also used some sheetmetal screws to secure the inside door panels, since the hardboard material wouldn't hold the clips anymore.

Welding starts next week. (-:
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Picture time!

Here's a picture of the headliner with one can of truck bed liner spray as described earlier. It looks poopy in the photo, but it actually came out pretty nice. I'm definitely happy with it.

Automotive design Building Plant Automotive tire Window
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here are some pictures of what the frame looked like initially.

The front frame members (from the engine cradle across the front seat frame members) were both rusted through. They had to be replaced. I am not a certified welder....heck, I'm not even a bad shadetree welder! I left it to the pros. Luckily it was under $300.
Water Wood Art Automotive tire Landscape


Additionally, one of the rear spring cradles was actually busted apart. I don't know how, but I don't have a picture of it, so here's a picture of the other side.

Tire Automotive tire Hood Wheel Tread


Holes into the passenger compartment could be seen from below while the car was on the lift.

Tire Automotive tire Bumper Wood Motor vehicle
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After the frame and spring base repair were done (by the professionals), I took a look at the body rust.

This is the passenger floorboard as I found it immediately after lifting the carpet up.
Motor vehicle Blue Hood Automotive lighting Automotive exterior


Funny enough, all of the heavy box framing across the seats and around the sides and front of the engine look fantastic. In fact, there are areas where rust ate pieces of metal completely to nothing and left flawless frame crossmembers. I don't understand how that's possible.

Back seat floorboard. Didn't look terrible.
Blue Hood Azure Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


And then my car became incontinent! :-D Good news, though. A brand new CarQuest radiator was only about $110. Of course, radiators are a snap. No need for me to go into that.

Grille Hood Motor vehicle Wood Rectangle
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I took a wire brush and kept scraping as much as I could. My goal was to find sections of clean steel to attach new steel to. Unfortunately I could only find more rust with the wire brush, after quite a lot of effort.

(Is it just me, or is there a scary halloween pumpkin smiling at us?)

Automotive tire Light Tire Asphalt Road surface


The back floorboard was a surprise! I thought I was going to scrape and use rust restorer, but it turned out to have a much larger area to remove. Fortunately, I was able to find clean, strong steel without much effort.

Motor vehicle Blue Azure Automotive tire Automotive exterior


I applied rust converter and rust converting primer, then used an angle grinder across the part of the floorboard over top of the main frame. Success! I have good steel to bind to. I cleared off as many surfaces as I could using the grinder, so that the new steel would have something to attach to.

(Now the halloween pumpkin looks a little more upset...)
Brown Wood Fixture Gas Tints and shades
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I used 26ga galvanized steel, cut and bent to shape, giving the closest surface-to-surface bond that I could. (Well, short of matching the grooves in the floor.) I ended up with a small gap, which is funny, because so did Chrysler. There was what looked like a mistake in construction at that corner.

Hood Automotive lighting Fluid Vehicle door Paint


After one more cleaning of all mating surfaces, I used JB Weld and rivets to attach it. I had heard a couple body shop guys say it's a better bond than welding, and I was skeptical, but it turns out that they build entire vehicles this way now. shrugs For steel-to-steel bonds with very tight seams, it's definitely stronger than most factory welds. Factory welds are arced at intervals, since arcing too close to an existing weld just shorts out. JB Weld already has an excellent bond strength, but it's also continuous.

Automotive lighting Blue Hood Automotive tire Azure


(Edit: Sorry, I meant to say I used 26ga galvanized steel here. I used 22ga weldable steel on another part.)
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The front floorboard area was actually easier to shape the metal, despite having quite a number more bends necessary. The rear had subtle angle changes, but the front was a series of fairly linear bends.

Attempting to take advantage of as much of the steel that was still good, I marked all the places where rivets could help to adhere the steel to the JB Weld. I cleaned the rusty metal with the grinder and wire-brushed the new steel mating surfaces.
Hood Wood Line Floor Gas


I got great bite with the rivets! I had cleaned as much rust as possible and used rust converter on the top and bottom. I'm happy with this repair. (The ? is where I wasn't sure I could snag a rivet, but it worked well.)

Blue Automotive tire Wood Road surface Asphalt
 

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I used 22ga mild steel, cut and bent to shape, giving the closest surface-to-surface bond that I could. (Well, short of matching the grooves in the floor.) I ended up with a small gap, which is funny, because so did Chrysler. There was what looked like a mistake in construction at that corner.

View attachment 277109

After one more cleaning of all mating surfaces, I used JB Weld and rivets to attach it. I had heard a couple body shop guys say it's a better bond than welding, and I was skeptical, but it turns out that they build entire vehicles this way now. shrugs For steel-to-steel bonds with very tight seams, it's definitely stronger than most factory welds. Factory welds are arced at intervals, since arcing too close to an existing weld just shorts out. JB Weld already has an excellent bond strength, but it's also continuous.

View attachment 277110
Darn u are a pro compared to my ghetto repairs. I just needed water and exhaust fumes kept out. I went with Aluminum flashing and $2 caulking...
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Rim Bumper

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Gas Composite material
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Since all of this work was on the passenger side, I chose to run some audio cables at the same time. The driver's side is still to be repaired (and it appears to need much more repair.)

Unfortunately, I somehow don't have all of the pictures, but I'll narrate the missing ones. (-:

One thing that was important to me when working on this car was that I don't go crazy expensive with anything. I want to enjoy the car, not baby it! Well, I caught a used Pyramid amplifier on eBay for $25, and I bought a new Pyramid sub for $40. Both are on the cheap end, but I happen to know audio, including how to get the most out of your gear. I removed the spare tire and spare tire bracket, lined the edges with fiberglass for standing wave dampening (and a slightly larger effective chamber), and attached the amplifier to the flor. (I bought a red-white-yellow RCA cord for this, because if I wanted to add a backup camera in the future, the wire would already be there. I used 12ga landscaping wire for power and security system wire for the remote. I bound all of those (and the existing red and black rear speaker wire that could be seen in previous pictures) with layers of automotive electrical tape to prevent anything being cut or squashed by trim pieces.

Light Gadget Audio equipment Output device Gas


This does not offer the amplifier any ventilation, but it shouldn't be pushing much more than about half of its rated RMS. Plus, it should be radiating a lot of its heat through the spare tire well.

I used 3/4" MDF and used the old spare tire cover as a stencil. I angled a drill bit to cut a notch for the cable bundle.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Grille


Aaaaand then I guess I forgot to take any more pictures!
 

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85 New Yorker 2.2 T1, 89 LeBaron Convertible 2.5 T1
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@arieskcar Thanks! (-: I used to use a lot of flashing for these repairs, and I think that's most of what had been used on this car in the past. There had been so much rust damage and repairs done that I thought it was best to just strip it down and see what I was working with.

In the process, I found troubling rust between the front spring wells and the firewall. I don't think it's structural, but as soon as I get myself somewhere to seriously work on this car, I'll lift the body off of the front end and get a good look. As it is now, I either work on my cars on the road in front of my house, or I pull them into a space behind my office and work when I get the chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I missed a lot of pictures, unfortunately. The MDF is taller than the old piece of hard-board that used to cover the spare tire well. Honestly, this is one of the dumbest things, and every automaker has done it. They use a thin piece of hardboard that absorbs any humidity in the air and warps downwards into the spare tire well. They cover it with a piece of carpet that isn't attached to anything. Every time something heavy in the trunk moves, it takes everything with it.

Although I wouldn't advise it for automakers, here's what worked well for me. I spray-tacked the trunk carpet to the piece of wood, then I lightly tacked it to the metal on all sides around it. (Oh, by the way, I sealed the edges of the wood with Alex silicone. It should be easy enough to remove if I need.) I cut a hole for the speaker, and I attached the grille on top of the wood. When I load the trunk up, it doesn't damage anything. At worst, it reduces the output from the subwoofer, which I can easily just switch off from the stereo.

It's all neat and tidy right now. The fact that there is a small dip in the carpet to the left and right of the wood is kind of helpful for keeping items where I put them. My original plan was to use 1/4" MDF on either side of the central woofer board and cut the carpet into even pieces, so that all of the trunk parts could be removed as needed. To be honest, I'm not sure I'll do that now. Since I scrapped the spare tire, the trunk is now just a trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Filling in a previously missed picture here:

Car Hood Vehicle Motor vehicle Trunk


I've built sound systems for churches and special events, and Pioneer has built woofers to my requirements. I've probably hand-built a thousand bookshelf and tower speakers. I do know good sound..... I think the reason this makes me happy is that it cost under $100, including the woofer, grille, wood, amplifier, fuse and wiring, insulation, spray adhesives, caulk, and rolls and rolls of electric tape. That's kind of why we like going fast in these cars! There are stories of sub-$1,000 TD's finishing the quarter faster than a new $100,000 Tesla. Is the Tesla a better machine? Almost certainly. What would I rather own? Mehehehe
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yesterday and today, I worked on the driver's side floorboard (and a little bit on the frame):

Pulled the seats out, didn't look too bad at first glance:


Road surface Wood Asphalt Composite material Gas


I did start scraping the rear floorboard area before pulling up the carpet. (By the way, for this job, it's WAY easier to go ahead and cut the front area under the heater controls with a reverse carpet knife before starting, so that you can roll the entire carpet out of the way. Normally, you would have to remove a lot more guts.)


Hood Motor vehicle Wood Paint Line


Looks like there were multiple layers of patches. They feel surprisingly solid!


Motor vehicle Wood Automotive exterior Gas Asphalt


I pulled off the patches to take a look at the existing original metal.... ohhhh....nooooo.......


Hood Blue Motor vehicle Wood Automotive exterior


phew Okay, I can work with this. The frame is still there. It's badly rusted, but it also has been patched by the welder. What's odd is how perfect the left-to-right frame sections are, even those that had body panels attached. I ended up buying a new 22ga weldable sheet for this particular patch. My focus was to cut and clean the metal to the frame and to as much existing body sheet metal as possible. I have attached a large piece, which I don't have a good picture of, but I'll get one tomorrow.


Blue Motor vehicle Hood Wood Paint
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm getting a better handle on metal bending, which is good, because those new rocker panels are going to be IMPOSSIBLE! 🙃


Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Wood Electrical wiring



Photograph Blue Hood Azure Motor vehicle



Hood Blue Automotive lighting Textile Bag



I made a crude metal-bending jig. I have an old solid-wood table, and I took a piece of solid square "tube" stock and some C-clamps to clamp the panels down to the table. I could then push up on the entire panel until I had the bend I wanted. I could also use large tubed and pieces of iron drain pipe, cut to the exact length of the table, and put the end of the C-clamp inside of the pipe and tighten the screw-side of to C-clamp onto the under-side of the table. That would prevent the tube from rolling while bending the metal up over it. Realistically, though, just being able to bend angles evenly was key. For the bottom of the rear quarter panel, I needed a smooth curve, then a sharp curve, then a 45 degree bend, then another 45 degree bend, then a 90 degree bend to mate up with the existing seam in the body. I also needed to cut a series of perpendicular lines to allow for an inside edge to the wheel well. It looks like it came out okay, but it may be a bear to finish...plus, I have NO idea how it's going to match with the rest of the rocker panel.

I removed and discarded the plastics on the sides. I kinda think it looks better without them, but also they were rather damaged (and were causing damage to the metal underneath).

Tire Wheel Land vehicle Car Vehicle



Unfortunately, I may have made a mistake in regards to performance... The old catalytic converter had a strip of rust-holes in the top, making the car annoyingly loud. I've run one of these TD's without a cat or a muffler, and it wasn't too bad. The fact that it was so far up the exhaust, plus the fact that it was leaking directly at the underside of the body, made listening to music while driving impossible. I considered going straight-pipe, but instead I ordered a Walker 15037. (When I do take it to inspection, I expect they will be taking a reeeally close look after all the work I've done.) It's a universal 2.5" cat. I did very little research, I'm afraid. )-: I picked it because it came up as "compatible" with this car, and it's a Walker. It feels less peppy. In particular, right around 4k RPM there used to be a noticeable jump in power, but that seems to be gone. I'm still running stock pressures, so I didn't expect to notice any difference in power, so it's possible something else is going on. After all, there are still some vacuum lines to patch up.

All in all, it's coming along! On my next free weekend, I'll be stripping and rust-stopping as much of the underside as I can. This has turned out to be a substantial rust-treatment project, but as some others have discovered, these P-body cars are hardly anywhere to be found now.
 
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