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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am in the middle of replacing the head gasket on my blue Spirit R/T. i found that the pistons definately aren't stock; they have a deeper dish and are REALLY shiny where the carbon has come off the tops of #1 & #4. anyone know what brand they might be? Venolia? JE? something else? i didn't get any info from the previous owner.

top of piston #4 -





top of piston #3 (#2 looks the same) -



top of piston #1 -



thanks :)


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'91 Dodge SPiRiT R/T
'98 Buick Regal GS
 

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They look like stock pistons, but it's not easy to tell the difference as aftermarkets are made to the same specs. Are there any stampings on the tops of the pistons like "B" or 1,2,3,4?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They look like stock pistons, but it's not easy to tell the difference as aftermarkets are made to the same specs. Are there any stampings on the tops of the pistons like "B" or 1,2,3,4?

well, i compared them to the stock pistons my brother took out of his TIII engine and the ones in my car definately have a deeper dish. his were almost flat top compared to these. his pistons were clean, but they were more like a dull gray and not highly polished like mine. i cannot see any stampings on the piston tops anywhere. i know the engine was just rebuilt before i got it and the previous owner put a ton of money into it. he finally gave up on the car after the turbo went out and i got it for cheap.

i suppose i should just pull the oil pan off and see if i can see a manufacturer's name cast into the bottom side of the piston. i'm mostly just curious really.

thanks

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Joshua Mitchell
'91 Dodge SPiRiT R/T
'98 Buick Regal GS
 
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They are definatly not stock pistons. They dont look like JEs or Venolias either. I would be curious myself and just pull the pan. Then you can make sure the balance shafts are gone as well:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks Jackson, i'm just going to pull the oil pan off then. it's not leaking, but whoever put it on got RTV all over the place so it's probably a good idea for me to replace the oil pan gasket anyway. right now i'm just waiting for the rest of my parts from FWDP and with any luck this thing will finally be running again after a day of wrenching...like hopefully this week :) i'll probably just leave the balance shafts there assuming they are still there.

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Joshua Mitchell
'91 Dodge SPiRiT R/T
'98 Buick Regal GS
 

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they are rounded like JEs, not squared off like Venolias or Wisecos
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
oh, you'll probably find some way of convincing me to pull them out once i have the oil pan off :p

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Joshua Mitchell
'91 Dodge SPiRiT R/T
'98 Buick Regal GS
 

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i guess dropping the balance shafts in a t3 wouldnt have any ill issues since you already have a 2.2 pan on it. i took them out of my 2.5 mini a few years back, with no baffle or windage tray, i hated it untill i got a 2.2 pan for it, the oil pressure would drop on hard accel, decel and cornering untill i swapped pans.
 

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Yeah,you wont believe the difference in a TIII without the BS and Ti retainers:thumb:
The man speaks the truth. My t3 revs like no other. Ltweight flywheel and no balance shafts FTW!!!

Get them out of there, you will be way happier. :thumb:

Have you listed that spirit in the registry at the top of the t3 section? :D I know I would like to see some pics and hear its story. :cool:
 

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I hadent seen anything about it? Got a link? It would still be cool to put it in the RT registry so we can keep track of it as well. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i have the world's ugliest Spirit R/T :p

i listed it in that "Official TD Spirit R/T registry" thread:

http://www.turbododge.com/forums/f11/f40/133104-official-td-spirit-r-t-registry-3.html

i replaced the bumper cover and grille from a black Spirit ES i found in the junkyard so it isn't damaged in the front anymore but it sure is ugly lol. i'm in the middle of tearing it down right now. i almost have all the parts here ready to put it back together, just waiting on the headgasket, headbolts, fuel injector o-rings, and magnetic oil drain plug to get here from FWDP. i already have a nice solid (used) TIII turbo ready to go on, new line set from TU, and every other gasket/assorted part here waiting.

i pulled the head off and found that 15 of the lifters are new stock, while 1 is a FWDP replacement. no cracks in the head at all but the plugs are steel, no sign of any previous welding. camshafts look brand new (regrinds maybe?), nice smooth cam bores, rockers looked excellent etc. my brother said it was the nicest TIII head he has ever seen. we were both pretty surprised to find these pistons in there. the mechanic that worked on the car said the owner spent ~$8000 on it, i don't know if he was full of it or what. i might go back and talk to him to see if i can look at the reciepts just out of curiousity. i know the previous owner got a rebuilt turbo from FWDP but it didn't last long (line set wasn't replaced, BOV was taped/glued shut etc). after the turbo went out on him he gave up on the car and sold it to me for $800 last October.

some other shop in Casper, WY rebuilt the engine/head and so far it appears they did a nice job. the shop that did the engine R&R in Gillette seems to have did some crappy work though, RTV mess on like every gasket, found that the headbolts were all loose etc.

here is a pic of the car after i replaced the bumper cover:



i still need to line it up a little better but at least it's not crunched anymore :)
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Joshua Mitchell
'91 Dodge SPiRiT R/T
'98 Buick Regal GS
 

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with that black bumper and grille with the rest of the car blue, it looks like a MICHIGAN state trooper crown vic at a quick glance, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
it's even uglier underhood! the previous owner painted the valve covers chevy orange :confused:

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Joshua Mitchell
'91 Dodge SPiRiT R/T
'98 Buick Regal GS
 

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i guess dropping the balance shafts in a t3 wouldnt have any ill issues since you already have a 2.2 pan on it. i took them out of my 2.5 mini a few years back, with no baffle or windage tray, i hated it untill i got a 2.2 pan for it, the oil pressure would drop on hard accel, decel and cornering untill i swapped pans.

I thought all 16v DOHC motors came with the 2.5 pan because they had balance shafts....
 

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Yeah, the TIII got the same pan as the 2.5L.....big flat bottom.
 
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